Maffucci had been interested in experimental pathology since 1879. His activity is documented by some experimental works mainly performed at the "Incurabili" Hospital of Neaples, Italy, where he first approached this discipline under the direction of the well-known German pathologist Otto von Schrön. His publications between the years 1882 and 1887, when he was already director to Pisa, were concerned with the infectious embryo pathology, the absorption in the peritoneum and in the articulations, as well as with hypertrophic cirrhosis of the liver, which represented a perfect combination of experimentation and autopsy. His first work on infectious embryo pathology, published in 1887, strongly contributed to the understanding of the different infectious pathologies and asserted unequivocally the need for experimentation in the fields of medical and biological sciences. For this important contribution in the field of pathology and for his brilliant ideas, the National Academy of Lincei awarded the scientist a gold medal in 1903.
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