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Selye, Hans

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Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine
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Biographical Information

Dr. Hans Selye 1973

Photo by Yousuf Karsh

Hans Selye was born on January 26, 1907, in Vienna, Austria. His mother Maria Felicitas Langbank was an Austrian, his father Hugo Selye was a Hungarian military surgeon, and his grandfather and great grandfather were family doctors. Selye completed his elementary and secondary school education in Komarno (Slovakia). Since 1924 he studied medicine in Prague, Rome, and Paris, and obtained his diploma at the German University of Prague in 1929. He started his research at the Institute of Experimental Pathology in Prague, and got his doctorate in biochemistry in 1931.

A Rockefeller Research Fellowship allowed Selye to continue his scientific career at the Department of Biochemical Hygiene of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1931, and then from 1932 at the Department of Biochemistry of the McGill University in Montreal. He became lecturer then associate professor in biochemistry, and also in histology. He...

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References and Readings

  • Berczi, I. Stress and Disease: The contribution of Hans Selye to: Neuroimmune Biology. A personal reminiscence. Retrieved 30 Mar 2012 from

  • Selye, H. (1936a). A syndrome produced by diverse nocuous agents. Nature, 138, 32.

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  • Selye, H. (1936b). Thymus and adrenals in the response of the organism to injuries and intoxications. British Journal of Experimental Pathology, 17, 234–248.

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  • Selye, H. (1943). Morphological changes in the fowl following chronic overdosage with various steroids. Journal of Morphology, 73, 401.

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  • Selye, H. (1946). The general adaptation syndrome and the diseases of adaptation. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, 6, 117–230.

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  • Selye, H. (1949). Effect of ACTH and cortisone upon an anaphylactoid reaction. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 61, 553–556.

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  • Selye, H. (1950). Stress. Montreal, QC: Acta.

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  • Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life. New York: McGraw Hill.

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  • Selye, H. (1962). Calciphylaxis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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  • Selye, H. (1964). From dream to discovery. New York: McGraw Hill.

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  • Selye, H. (1965). The mast cells. Washington, DC: Butterworths.

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  • Selye, H. (1967a). Experimental thrombohemorrhagic phenomena. The American Journal of Cardiology, 20(2), 153–160.

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  • Selye, H. (1967b). In vivo: The case for supramolecular biology. New York: Livesight.

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  • Selye, H. (1974). Stress without distress (p. 364). Philadelphia: Lippincott.

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  • Selye, H. (1979). The stress of my life: A scientist’s memory. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

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  • Selye, H., Bajusz, E., Grasso, S., & Mendell, P. (1960). Simple techniques for the surgical occlusion of coronary vessels in the rat. Angiology, 11, 398–407.

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  • Selye, H., & Mishra, R. K. (1957). Symbolic shorthand system for medicine and physiology. Federation Proceedings, 16(3), 704–706.

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  • Smith, M. J. T., & Selye, H. (1979). Stress: Reducing the negative effects of stress. The American Journal of Nursing, 11, 1953–1955.

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  • Somorjai, N. (2007). Bibliography Hans Selye. Retrieved 30 Mar 2012 from

  • Stauder, A., & Kovács, P. B. (Eds.). (2007). Stress. A memorial book on the birth centenary of Hans Selye. Budapest: Downtown Artists’ Society.

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  • The American Institute of Stress: Hans Selye and The Birth of Stress. Retrieved 30 Mar 2012 from

  • Université de Montréal: Hans Selye: Une vie en images. Retrieved 30 Mar 2012 from

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Correspondence to Adrienne Stauder .

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Stauder, A. (2013). Selye, Hans. In: Gellman, M.D., Turner, J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY.

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