Scope and Content
Title: Materials re: Angelo Mosso,
Date (inclusive): 1906-1907, 1910, 1937, 1981-1983
Collection number: MSS 83-4
Foà, Piero Pio. 1911-
Extent: 1 box
University of California, San Francisco. Library. Archives and Special Collections.
San Francisco, California 94143-0840
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Materials re: Angelo Mosso, MSS 83-4, Archives & Special
Collections, UCSF Library & CKM
Piero Pio Foà was born in Turin, Italy, on April 13, 1911. Prior to his birth, his
father, Carlo, who had been a student of Angelo Mosso, recorded and published the world's
first fetal electrocardiogram (that of Piero Foà).
Piero Foà obtained his M.D. degree from the University of Milan in 1934, and served his
internship (1936-1937) and residency at the University of Milan Hospital. He obtained a
Ph.D. in chemistry in 1938, and was an assistant professor of physiology at the
University of Pavia when he left Fascist Italy for the United States in 1939 with the
help of an immigration visa obtained through the good offices of such luminaries as
pioneering neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing and physiologist Walter B. Cannon.
Dr. Foà's first position in the United States was as a research fellow in the department
of physiology at Yale University. Settling in Michigan, Dr. Foà held a research
fellowship in surgery at the University of Michigan (1939-1942). At the Chicago Medical
School, he held a fellowship in medicine (1942-1943) and later was an assistant professor
of physiology and pharmacology (1944-1945). The primary locus of Dr. Foà's career was
Wayne State University, where he spent some forty years, first as chief of the endocrine
and metabolic clinic (1944-1947) and as an associate professor (1946-1951), later as a
full professor (1961-1983) in the Department of Physiology. He was also for many years
the chairman of the Department of Research at Detroit's Sinai Hospital. Dr. Foà's current
title is emeritus professor of physiology at Wayne State University.
Born in Turin, Italy in 1846, Mosso received an M.D. from the University of Turin in
1870. He did further work at Florence and Leipzig. Returning to Turin, he became
professor of pharmacology (1875) and professor of physiology (1879). Under him, Turin
became an extremely active center for research in experimental physiology and biology. He
pursued two main lines of research: the analysis of motor functions and the relationship
between physiological and psychic phenomena. He perfected the plethysmograph, which
measured slow changes in the volume of the blood vessels. When bad health forced him to
give up his physiological studies in 1904, Mosso devoted his energies to archaeological
research. He acquired as great fame in archaeology as he had in physiology, conducting
studies in the Roman Forum, Crete and Southern Italy. Angelo Mosso died in Turin in 1910.
Scope and Content
Publications, tearsheet and a photographic print relating to physiologist Angelo Mosso,
plus correspondence between Drs. Kellogg and Foà regarding the latter's donation of these
materials to UCSF.