medical science

Thomas Willis and the Anatomy of the Nervous System

Thomas Willis and the Anatomy of the Nervous System

On January 27, 1620, English physician and founding member of the Royal Society Thomas Willis was born, who played an important part in the history of anatomy, neurology and psychiatry. A club of scientists including Robert Boyle, Christopher Wren and John Wilkins met in his rooms in Oxford, which later should become founding members of the Royal Society.[5,6] “But the office of the Cerebral seems to be for the animal Spirits to supply…
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Hans Selye and Phenomenon of Stress

Hans Selye and Phenomenon of Stress

On January 26, 1907, pioneering Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye was born. He conducted much important scientific work on the hypothetical non-specific response of an organism to stressors. Although he did not recognize all of the many aspects of glucocorticoids, Selye was aware of their role in the stress response. He is considered the first to demonstrate the existence of biological stress. Hans Selye – Early Years Hans Selye was born in Vienna,…
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Vladimir Bekhterev and the Bekhterev’s Disease

Vladimir Bekhterev and the Bekhterev’s Disease

On January 20, 1857, Russian neurologist Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev was born. He is often referred to as father of objective psychology, but is best known for noting the role of the hippocampus in memory, his study of reflexes, and Bekhterev’s disease. Moreover, he is known for his competition with Ivan Pavlov regarding the study of conditioned reflexes.[1] “Only two know the mystery of brain: God and Bekhterev.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Theodor Kopsch, as…
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Sir Percivall Pott and his Efforts in Early Cancer Research

Sir Percivall Pott and his Efforts in Early Cancer Research

On January 6, 1714, English surgeon Sir Percivall Pott was born. Pott is considered one of the founders of orthopedy, and the first scientist to demonstrate that a cancer may be caused by an environmental carcinogen. Percivall Pott – Early Years Percivall Pott was raised by his mother and Joseph Wilcocks, the bishop of Rochester, since his father died when he was still young. Pott attended a private school in Kent and…
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Andreas Vesalius and the Science of Anatomy

Andreas Vesalius and the Science of Anatomy

On December 31, 1514, Brabantian (in modern-day Belgium) anatomist, physician Andreas Vesalius was born. Vesalius is often referred to as the founder of modern human anatomy. He is best known as author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body). “I could have done nothing more worthwhile than to give a new description of the whole human body, of which…
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Clara Barton and the Start of the American Red Cross

Clara Barton and the Start of the American Red Cross

On December 25, 1821, American pioneering nurse Clarissa “Clara” Harlowe Barton was born. Barton is noteworthy for doing humanitarian work at a time when relatively few women worked outside the home. She worked as a hospital nurse in the American Civil War and was instrumental in the founding of the American Red Cross. “You are getting the reward, dear Bessie for the simple nature devoid of vaulting ambition which you have always had. Keep…
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Niels Finsen – From Sun-Worship to Phototherapy

Niels Finsen – From Sun-Worship to Phototherapy

On December 15, 1860, Faroese-Danish physician and Nobel Laureate of Icelandic descent Niels Ryberg Finsen was born. Finsen is best known for his theory of phototherapy, in which certain wavelengths of light can have beneficial medical effects. Up to now, we have only mentioned Iceland in this blog when we reported on Nordic expeditions or Eskimology [1,2]. But, Iceland also has a famous Nobel Laureate in medical science, who will be subject…
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Charles Scott Sherrington and the Functions of the Neurons

Charles Scott Sherrington and the Functions of the Neurons

On November 27, 1857, English neurophysiologist and Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Scott Sherrington was born. Sherrington received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Edgar Adrian in 1932 for their work on the functions of neurons. Prior to the work of Sherrington and Adrian, it was widely accepted that reflexes occurred as isolated activity within a reflex arc. Sherrington received the prize for showing that reflexes require integrated activation and demonstrated…
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Ephraim McDowell – the Father of Abdominal Surgery

Ephraim McDowell – the Father of Abdominal Surgery

On Nov 11, 1771, American physician and pioneer surgeon Ephraim McDowell was born. The first person to successfully remove an ovarian tumor, he has been called “the father of ovariotomy” as well as founding father of abdominal surgery. Ephraim McDowell – Youth and Education Ephraim McDowell was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, the ninth child of Samuel and Mary McDowell. His father was a veteran of the French and Indian War and a…
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Alois Alzheimer and the Disease Of Advanced Civilization

Alois Alzheimer and the Disease Of Advanced Civilization

On November 3, 1906, German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer presented for the first time the pathology and the clinical symptoms of presenile dementia together, later renamed in his honor as Alzheimer’s disease. Alois Alzheimer – Early Years Alois Alzheimer was born in Marktbreit, Bavaria, the eldest son from the second marriage of the notary Eduard Alzheimer and his wife Barbara Theresia née Busch, a sister of the first wife Eva-Maria née Busch, who died…
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