Prof. Dr. Mehmet Zühdi BERKE was born in Aydın / Turkey in 1897. After finishing his studies in veterinary medicine, he was sent to Germany and worked with Prof. Dr. Paul Frosch, Prof. Dr. Bongert, Prof. Dr. Knuth and finished his PhD study in 1919. After returning to Turkey, he finished his studies in medicine in 1926, became a medical doctor and sent again to Germany to conduct scientefic studies in Robert Koch Institute. In 1930, he return Turkey to. work in veterinary medicine and to discover the presence of Bang infection in Turkey. He obtained the title of “infectious diseases specialist” in 1933 and started to work in Istanbul University with Prof. Dr. Hugo Braun. In 1935 he was invited by the Government of Afghanistan, where he established the Kabul University, Faculty of Medicine and Hygiene Institute.
There he built vaccine production facilities and especially was successful for the smallpox vaccination campaign. He came back to Turkey in 1947 and started working in Refik Saydam Hygiene Institute at Vaccine and Sera Department in 1949. Prof. BERKE isolated the New Castle Disease virus in Turkey and produced a vaccine against this agent. Due to his studies in infleunza in 1951 he was elected by WHO as an “influenza specialist”. In 1958 he opened and became the director of the Virology Department of the Institute. He conducted many works about viruses such influenza, polio, rabies, pox and made many scientific publications. Prof. BERKE retired in year 1962 from the institute. In 1974, he published a book named “Medical Virology” consisting from more than 2000 pages in two volumes.
Prof. BERKE died in 1979 in Ankara.