Special Sub-Topic: 19th Century Pathologists and Physiologists
|I lived 1821-1902. Often called the father of medical pathology, I taught that diseased cells descended from normal cells. I refused to accept the "germ" theory of disease, and disbelieved the theory of natural selection, or evolution.|
Rudolph Virchow. As the germ theory of illness became more and more accepted in the last third of the 19th Century, Virchow left pathology and took up anthropology and politics, being elected to the Prussian Parliament in 1862. He was once challenged to a duel by the "Iron Chancellor" Otto Bismarck. Perhaps his most shameful act was to join the vilification of Semmelweiss. Clausius was a physicist performing basic work on thermodynamics, Mendel (a botanist) developed the laws of chromosomal inheritance basic to genetics.
|Born in Hungary, I worked as an obstetrician in Vienna. I taught that doctors should wash their hands after performing autopsies. As a Hungarian working in Austria, I was hounded by the medical establishment despite the remarkable reduction in puerperal fever among my patients. I died of the same illness after a cut became infected at an autopsy.|
Ignaz Semmelweis. Pregnant women were so in terror of puerperal fever, transmitted by doctors' dirty hands, that they preferred to give birth in the streets rather than in Vienna's best obstetric hospitals. Read "The Cry and the Covenant" by Morton Thompson. Lister was a surgeon reponsible for the introduction of antiseptic surgery. Hunter was an 18th Century anatomist. Marsh is a fictional doctor from another of Morton Thompson's novels.
|I was the best-known physiologist of the 19th Century. I propounded the "germ theory" of disease, that diseases were caused by minute, invisible organisms. I made major contributions to immunisation against rabies, and discovered the anthrax bacillus, as well as saving the French silk industry and wine industry. My sterilisation procedure is named after me.|
Louis Pasteur. Pasteur was a titanic scientific figure of the 19th Century, but retained in many ways the simplicity and devoutness of his peasant roots. He angrily rejected suggestions that he profited from his contributions to French biotechnology industries of silk- and wine-making. Prout suggested in 1815 that all elements might be combinations of hydrogen atoms, an idea about a century before its time.
|I lived from 1804-1878, mostly in Vienna where I taught pathological anatomy, performing over 30,000 autopsies. I taught that all diseases arise from a "dyscrasia" of the blood which subsequently affected other organs.|
Karl Rokitansky. Rokitansky performed important work on arteries and defects of the cardiac septum, between the right and left sides of the heart. von Liebig was a chemist who developed quantitative analysis of organic compounds. Bolyai was a Hungarian mathematician. Balmer was a Swiss spectroscopist.
|Born in Russia in 1845, I became director of the Pasteur Institute in 1904 and shared the 1908 Nobel Prize for my work on immunology, especially the theory of phagocytosis, whereby white blood cells engulf and destroy invading bacteria.|
Elie Metchnikoff. Ilya Ilich Metchnikoff shared the Nobel Prize with the great Paul Ehrlich. Metchnikoff's work lead Pasteur to invite him to the Pasteur Institute in 1888 where he remained til his death. Tsiolkovski was a teacher and physicist who laid much theoretical groundwork for rocketry. Lobachevski was a mathematician and Lenz did basic research on electromagnetic induction in Michael Faraday's era.
|I lived from 1818 till 1896. While studying at the University of Berlin I became interested in the electrical properties of animal tissues, and I am recognized as the founder of electrophysiology. I was also one of Darwin's early supporters.|
Emil du Bois-Reymond. Du Bois-Reymond (whose French name indicates Huguenot ancestry) demonstrated that nerve impulses have a measurable velocity. By showing that nerves conduct electricity similarly to copper wires, he destroyed one of the tenets of vitalism which held that biological processes were innately different to non-organic ones. Airy was a 19th Century Astronomer Royal credited with missing the discovery of Neptune, literally "seizing defeat from the jaws of victory". Magendie is considered the father of medical pharmacology for his early drug work.
|I was one of the founders of modern embryology, living from 1817 to 1905 in Zurich and Wurzburg. Using the microscope I isolated the cells of smooth muscle, my first book on histology was published in 1852, and of embryology in 1861. This interpreted the embryo in light of the new science of cell theory.
Rudolf von Kolliker. Kolliker was probably the first biologist to recognize that eggs and sperm are cells, and showed that nerve fibres or axons are simply very elongated cells. Hoppe-Seyler, once assistant to Virchow, performed pioneering biochemical work, including the first work on nucleic acids. Kossel was Hoppe-Seyler's assistant, and later of Dubois-Reymond. Miescher, too, was an early biochemist.
|I lived in Germany from 1809 to 1885. Using the microscope I was the first to recognize certain kidney tubules, now named after me. In 1846 my pathology book unified diseased or pathological change with normal tissue physiology. I also speculated that microorganisms may be the cause of disease. I am Friedrich ____.|
Friedrich Henle & Henle. The loops of Henle carry urine towards the kidney pelvis and then outwards to the cortex, to enable valuable electrolytes, especially sodium, to be reabsorbed into the blood. His speculation about the germ cause of disease was verified 20 years later by Pasteur who rightly gets credit for the discovery of the "germ theory".
|I lived in Germany from 1810 to 1882. In 1836 I isolated the enzyme pepsin from the stomach lining, the first such from animal tissue. I am most noted for developing the cell theory in 1839, whereby all living tissues consist of individual cells with common properties such as the nucleus and a cell wall.|
Theodor Schwann. Schwann coined the term "metabolism" to describe the chemical processes taking place in the cell. Schwann's name is memorialized in the cells which form an insulating sheath round nerve fibres. Weber was a physiologist and early psychologist, in that he investigated subjective reactions to stimuli. Encke, an astronomer, discovered a comet with the shortest-known period. Baer was a pioneering embryologist.
|I lived in Germany from 1801 to 1858. I was a founder of the science of physiology, whereby findings were examined experimentally rather than by mystical vitalist interpretation. I was an inspiring teacher with several students going on to great findings in the latter 19th Century.|
Johannes Muller. Muller taught Schwann, Virchow and Helmholtz. Despite (or perhaps because of) his genius, Muller was psychologically fragile and may have died a suicide. Wohler first prepared an organic substance (urea) from inorganic precursors, disproving the "vital force" that the great chemist Berzelius believed essential to production of organic chemicals. Fraunhofer, a spectroscopist, showed the solar spectrum. Pelletier isolated quinine, strychnine and chlorophyll. Purkinje coined the word "protoplasm" ("First Formed") to refer to the background intracellular material.
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