Bodansky, Meyer (1896–1941)

By: Natalie Ornish

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 11, 2016

Meyer Bodansky, medical scientist, was born at Elizabetgrad, Russia, on August 30, 1896, one of seven children of Phineas and Eva Bodansky. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1907. He received his B.A. degree from Cornell University in 1918, his M.A. from the University of Texas in 1922, his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1923, and his M.D. from the University of Chicago in 1935. He married Eleanor Abbott, and they had two daughters.

Bodansky began his research in metabolism immediately after he finished his undergraduate work at Cornell. He was an instructor in biological chemistry at the University of Texas Medical Branch from 1919 to 1923 and an adjunct professor from 1923 to 1925. He left Galveston in 1925 to teach for a year at Stanford University and returned to UTMB as an associate professor in 1926. In 1930 he became a full professor of pathological chemistry. He also directed the laboratories at John Sealy Hospital and John Sealy Memorial Research Laboratory. In 1932–33 he served as visiting professor of physiological chemistry at American University in Beirut, Lebanon. During this productive period he wrote Introduction to Physiological Chemistry (1937) and Laboratory Manual of Physiological Chemistry (1939), both standard textbooks in biochemistry. With his brother, Dr. Oscar Bodansky, who served as chief of biochemistry at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, he wrote Biochemistry of Disease (1940), which was translated into several languages and used worldwide in medical schools. He published over 100 scientific articles and papers as well. Bodansky pioneered chemical investigation into calcium absorption, vitamin deficiencies, kidney diseases, and endocrine functions. In 1937 the Texas Pathological Society presented him its award for outstanding work in medical research, proclaiming his monograph on "The Chemistry of Heart Action" the "greatest contribution to medical science by a Texan during the preceding year." Bodansky died of a pulmonary infection on June 14, 1941, at the height of his career.

Galveston Daily News, June 15, 1941. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: A Seventy-five Year History (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Natalie Ornish, “Bodansky, Meyer,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022,

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May 11, 2016

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