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Emil von Behring

Emil von BehringAKA Emil Adolf von Behring

Born: 15-Mar-1854
Birthplace: Hansdorf, West Prussia
Died: 31-Mar-1917
Location of death: Marburg, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified

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

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Created diptheria innoculation

German bacteriologist, born at Hansdorf in West Prussia, now a part of Poland. He is one of the fathers of the science of immunology, along with Louis Pasteur and others. In his work in the field of military health, he did early research into septic diseases and antibiotics. Von Behring discovered that guinea pigs injected with diptheria toxin (remnants of diptheria with the active bacilli filtered out) can have their tissues acclimated to the toxin such that they produce a substance capable of neutralizing the diptheria toxin itself. This antitoxin, he mixed with diptheria toxin and injected into healthy guinea pigs, yielding no ill effects after the animals were exposed to diptheria. When this treatment was applied to humans, the mortality from that disease was reduced to a negligible level. With Paul Ehrlich he made this vaccine commercially available. Von Behring also did work with tetanus and tuberculosis. After 1901 ill health curtailed his teaching, but he continued researches and remained professor of Hygiene at Marburg until his death in 1917.

Father: (schoolmaster)
Wife: Else Spinola (m. 1896, seven children)

    Medical School: Friedrich-Wilhelms-Institut (1878)
    Professor: Hygiene, University of Halle (1894-95)
    Professor: Hygiene, University of Marburg (1895-1917)

    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1901
    French Legion of Honor 1895

Author of books:
Gesammelte Abhandlungen (1893, collected papers)

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