medical science

Gregory Pincus and the Contraceptive Pill

Gregory Pincus and the Contraceptive Pill

On April 9, 1903, American biologist and endocrinologist Gregory Goodwin Pincus was born. Pincus’ work on the antifertility properties of steroids led to the development of the first effective oral contraceptive: the birth-control pill. Gregory Pincus – Youth and Education Gregory Pincus was born in Woodbine, New Jersey and received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Cornell University. He became an instructor in zoology at Harvard University while also working toward his…
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Nathan Kline – A Pioneer of Psychopharmacological Drugs

Nathan Kline – A Pioneer of Psychopharmacological Drugs

On March 22, 1916, American psychologist Nathan Schellenberg Kline was born. Kline is best known for his work with psychopharmacologic drugs. He pioneered in the biochemical treatment of mentally ill patients by introducing the use of such drugs as the antidepressants lithium and iproniazid and the tranquilizer resperin. “Those of us who work in this field see a developing potential for a nearly total control of human emotional status, mental functioning, and will to act. These…
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Walter Hess and his Mapping of the Brain

Walter Hess and his Mapping of the Brain

On March 17, 1881, Swiss physiologist Walter Rudolf Hess was born. Hess shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1949 with Antonio Egas Moniz for his discovery of the functional organization of the interbrain as a coordinator of the activities of the internal organs. “A recognized fact which goes back to the earliest times is that every living organism is not the sum of a multitude of unitary processes, but is, by…
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Sir Waldemar Haffkine – A Saviour of Humanity

Sir Waldemar Haffkine – A Saviour of Humanity

On March 15 1860, Russian bacteriologist Sir Waldemar Mordechai Wolff Haffkine was born. Haffkine is best known for an anti-cholera vaccine that he tried out successfully in India. He is recognized as the first microbiologist who developed and used vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague. He tested the vaccines on himself. Lord Joseph Lister named him “a saviour of humanity”.[4] Early Years Born as Vladimir Aaronovich Khavkin, Waldemar Haffkine was born into a family of Jewish teachers living…
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The Skull Collection of Franz Josef Gall

The Skull Collection of Franz Josef Gall

On March 9, 1758, German neuroanatomist and physiologist Franz Josef Gall was born. Gall was a pioneer in the study of the localization of mental functions in the brain and claimed as the founder of phrenology. “The fate of the physiology of the brain is independent of the truth and falsity of my assertions relative to the laws of the organization of the nervous system, in general, and of the brain in particular, just as…
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Sir Peter Medawar – The Father of Organ Transplantation

Sir Peter Medawar – The Father of Organ Transplantation

On February 28, 1915, British biologist Sir Peter Brian Medawar was born. His work on graft rejection and the discovery of acquired immune tolerance was fundamental to the practice of tissue and organ transplants. Together with Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnett he shared the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for discovery of acquired immunological tolerance“. For his works in immunology Medwar is regarded as the “father of transplantation“. Peter Medawar – Early Years Medawar…
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Willem Johan Kolff and Artificial Organs

Willem Johan Kolff and Artificial Organs

On February 14, 1911, Dutch-American physician and biomedical engineer Willem Johan Kolff was born. Kolff is considered to be the Father of Artificial Organs, and is regarded as one of the most important physicians of the 20th century. He made his major discoveries in the field of dialysis for kidney failure during the Second World War. Education and first Research Willem Johan Kolff was born in Leiden, Netherlands, as the eldest of…
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Sir William Jenner and the Distinction of Typhus and Typhoid

Sir William Jenner and the Distinction of Typhus and Typhoid

On January 30, 1815, English physician Sir William Jenner was born. Jenner is primarily known for having discovered the distinction between typhus and typhoid. While “typhoid” means “typhus-like”, typhus and typhoid fever are distinct diseases caused by different genera of bacteria. “How often have I seen in past days, in the single narrow chamber of the day-labourer’s cottage, the father in the coffin, the mother in the sick-bed in muttering delirium, and…
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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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