In 1879, he graduated from the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. In 1887, he became a full professor of pathological anatomy. He was rector of Prague's General Hospital and director of the Czech Institute of Pathological Anatomy. He was a pioneer in bacteriology and studied the etiology of infectious diseases and oncology.
In 1887, Hlava authored a widely cited article entitled About Dysentery. Due to a translation error, the article was attributed to O. Uplavici in English publications until 1938. The name of author was written in small characters, and the translator mistook O ÚPLAVICI (About dysentery in Czech) for the name of the author and PŘEDBĚŽNÁ ZPRÁVA (preliminary report) for About Dysentery. The mistake was corrected in 1939 by American physician Clifford Dobell, writing about the history of this mistake in the article "Dr. O. Uplavici (1887–1938)".
- Garfield, Eugene (1990-10-08). "Journal Editors Awaken to the Impact of Citation Errors. How We Control Them at ISI" (PDF). Current Contents: 367, 369. Retrieved 2009-05-23. (General article about mistakes in citation, with "O. Uplavici" as an example on page 3.)
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