IST Redi Award

Francesco Redi (1626-1697) was born in Arezzo, Italy, studied at the University of Pisa, and became court physician to the Medicis in Tuscany. He is generally considered one of the foremost scientists of his time and contributed to science and the arts in a number of areas, including a treatise on venomous snakes, "Osservazioni intorno alle vipere", published in 1664. Through this latter work and other contributions he is considered one of the most important founders of the study of toxinology.

Amongst his observations on vipers, all essentially new at that time and contrary to then-held beliefs, were that the effects of a viper bite (in Italy) applied to all animals, with smaller animals more readilly killed, that dose of venom and route and place of injection were important, that non-fatal bites could be expected to recover after a period of illness, that venom ingested orally was not harmful, and most importantly, that venom was the yellow liquid expelled from the fangs.

More detail on the life and contributions of Francisco Redi may be found elsewhere, with a good starting point being Prof. Gerhard Habermehl's paper, "HISTORICAL REVIEW FRANCESCO REDI - LIFE AND WORK", published in Toxicon 1994, 32(4):411-417.

Redi viper paper titlepage Redi book cover
Title page for Francesco Redi's publication "Observazioni Intorno Alle Vipere"
Original 1664 version (published in Firenze/Florence) and 1687 version (published in Napoli/Naples)

In 1967 the IST established an award for the recognition of toxinology scientists or clinicians who have made outstanding contributions to the field of toxinology. This award is made at each World Congress of the IST and is the highest award bestowed by the Society. The determination of who should be considered for the Redi Award is made by a select committee chaired by the Editor of Toxicon and is only announced at the World Congress, immediately prior to inviting the new awardee to present a lecture, the Redi Lecture, to the Congress, on a topic of the awardee's choosing.

Past Redi Award Recipients:
Findlay E.Russell (USA) 1967
Paul Boquet (France) 1970
André de Vries (South Africa) 1974
Chen-Yaun Lee (Taiwan) 1976
Hugh Alistair Reid (UK) 1979
Nobuo Tamiya (Japan) 1982
Philip Rosenberg (USA) 1982
Sherman A Minton (USA) 1985
Paul A Christensen (South Africa) 1988
Ernst Habermann (Germany) 1991
Elazar Kochva (Israel) 1994
Evert Karlsson (Sweden) 1997
Alan Harvey (UK) 2000
Andre Menez (France) 2000
Baldomero Olivera (USA) 2003
Lourival Possani (Mexico) 2006
Cesare Montecucco (Italy) 2009
David A Warrell (UK) 2012
Jose Maria Gutierrez (Costa Rica) 2015
Dietrich Mebs (Germany) 2017
Michel Lazdunski (France) 2017


statue of Francesco Redi