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Robert Bárány

Robert BárányBorn: 22-Apr-1876
Birthplace: Rohonc, near Vienna, Austria
Died: 8-Apr-1936
Location of death: Uppsala, Sweden
Cause of death: Stroke
Remains: Cremated, Stockholm, Sweden

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Doctor

Nationality: Austria
Executive summary: Studied inner ear, equilibrium system

Military service: Austrian Army (1914-16)

Robert Bárány's research explained vestibular apparatus, part of the inner ear that plays an important role in maintaining balance. He taught at the University of Vienna, then volunteered as a surgeon for the Austrian Army in World War I. He was captured by Russians at Przemysl and imprisoned for two years at Merv, in present-day Turkmenistan. While at the POW camp, he was notified by telegram in 1915 that a year earlier he had been awarded the Nobel Prize. At the special request of Sweden's Prince Carl he was released before the war's end, to belatedly accept his honors at the 1916 Nobel ceremony.

When he returned to the University of Vienna, hoping to become a Professor, he was instead accused of plagiarism. A Nobel inquiry found no grounds for the complaint, and a Vienna newspaper published a famous cartoon of Bárány with his Nobel laurel, captioned "I have succeeded in curing all kinds of ear injuries but the deafness of the Vienna faculty." He accepted an offer from the University of Uppsala in Sweden, where he became a Swedish citizen in 1917, and worked for the rest of his life.

Father: Ignaz Bárány (farm manager)
Mother: Maria Hock Bárány (socialite, six children)
Wife: Ida Felicitas Berger Bárány (m. 1909)
Son: Ernst Bárány (professor of pharmacology, b. 1910)
Son: Franz Bárány (professor of internal medicine)
Daughter: Ingrid Bárány (psychiatrist)

    Medical School: MD, University of Vienna (1900)
    University: University of Freiburg (1902)
    University: Neuropathology, University of Vienna (1903-04)
    Teacher: Otology, University of Vienna (1904-14)
    Professor: Otology, University of Uppsala (1917-36)

    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1914
    Taken Prisoner of War
    Naturalized Swedish Citizen 1917
    Hungarian Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry

Author of books:
Physiology and Pathology of the Semicircular Canals (1910, research)

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