medical science

E. Morton Jellinek and the Causes of Alcoholism

E. Morton Jellinek and the Causes of Alcoholism

On August 15, 1890, American biostatistician and physiologist E. Morton Jellinek was born. Jellinek was a pioneer in the scientific study of the nature and causes of alcoholism and in descriptions of its symptomatology. He was an early proponent of the disease theory of alcoholism, arguing with great persuasiveness that alcoholics should be treated as sick people. Born in New York City, USA, Jellinek studied biostatistics and physiology at the…
Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

On August 11, 1858, Dutch physiologist Christiaan Eijkman was born. Eijkman‘s demonstrated that beriberi is caused by poor diet led to the discovery of antineuritic vitamins (thiamine). Together with Sir Frederick Hopkins, he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Christiaan Eijkman was born at Nijkerk, Netherlands as the seventh child of Christiaan Eijkman, the headmaster of a local school, and Johanna Alida Pool. In 1859, the Eijkman family…
John Caius and the English Sweating Sickness

John Caius and the English Sweating Sickness

On July 29, 1573, English physician John Caius passed away. Caius was one of the founders of the present Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. His classic account of the English sweating sickness is considered one of the earliest histories of an epidemic. John Caius attended Gonville Hall, Cambridge and after graduating traveled to Italy where he studied under the celebrated Montanus and Vesalius at Padua. He earned his degree as a…
Joseph Goldberger’s Fight against Pellagra

Joseph Goldberger’s Fight against Pellagra

On July 16, 1874, American physician and epidemiologist Joseph Goldberger was born. Goldberger was an advocate for scientific and social recognition of the links between poverty and disease. Due to his important work on the link between pellagra and poor diet, he was nominated five times for the Nobel Prize. Joseph Goldberger was born in Girált, Sáros County, Kingdom of Hungary in a Jewish family, as the youngest of six…
Albert Calmette and the Antituberculosis Vaccine

Albert Calmette and the Antituberculosis Vaccine

On July 12, 1863, French physician, bacteriologist and immunologist Léon Charles Albert Calmette was born. Calmette discovered the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, an attenuated form of Mycobacterium bovis used in the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis. He also developed the first antivenom for snake venom, the Calmette‘s serum. Calmette was born in Nice, France. He wanted to serve in the Navy and be a physician, so in 1881 he joined the School of…
Ludwik Fleck and the Thought Collective

Ludwik Fleck and the Thought Collective

On July 11, 1898, Polish and Israeli physician Ludwik Fleck was born. Fleck did important work in epidemic typhus in Lwów, Poland, with Rudolf Weigl and in the 1930s developed the concepts of the “Denkstil” (“thought style”) and the “Denkkollektiv” (“thought collective”). The concept of the “thought collective” defined by him is important in the philosophy of science and in logology (the “science of science”), helping to explain how scientific ideas…
Wilhelm His and the Microtome

Wilhelm His and the Microtome

On July 9, 1831, Swiss anatomist Wilhelm His, Sr. was born. His became known for the invention of the microtome, a tool used to cut extremely thin slices of material (even though others were also credited with the invention). By treating animal flesh with acids and salts to harden it and then slicing it very thinly with the microtome, scientists were able to further research the organization and function of…
Morell Mackenzie and The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble

Morell Mackenzie and The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble

On July 7, 1837, British physician Morell Mackenzie was born. Mackenzie was one of the pioneers of laryngology in the United Kingdom. He is best remembered for his role at the centre of a bitter international controversy over the death of Emperor Frederick III of Germany. In his book, ‘The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble’ (1888), Mackenzie describes his care of laryngeal cancer in the Crown Prince, later Emperor Frederick…
Dietary Reformer Sylvester Graham

Dietary Reformer Sylvester Graham

On July 5, 1794, American Presbyterian minister and dietary reformer Sylvester Graham was born. Graham is best known for his emphasis on vegetarianism, the temperance movement and his emphasis on eating whole-grain bread; he did not invent graham flour, graham bread, or graham crackers, but those products were inspired by his preaching. Sylvester Graham worked as a farm hand, cleaner, and teacher. His relatives ran a tavern where Graham also…
Franz Alexander and Psychosomatic Medicine

Franz Alexander and Psychosomatic Medicine

On June 22, 1891, Hungarian-American psychoanalyst and physician Franz Alexander was born. Alexander is considered one of the founders of psychosomatic medicine and psychoanalytic criminology. He was a leader in identifying emotional tension as a significant cause of physical illness. Franz Gabriel Alexander, in Hungarian Alexander Ferenc Gábor, was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, to his father was Bernhard Alexander, a philosopher and literary critic. Alexander studied in Berlin. Already a…
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