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Langerhans, Paul

Born: 1847 AD
Died: 1888 AD
Nationality: German
Categories: Anatomist

1847 – Born on the 25th of July in Berlin, Germany.

1868 – He used the technique taught to him by Julius Friedrich Cohnheim to stain a sample of human skin with gold chloride and identified the cells which bear his name.

1869 – He presented a thesis entitled “Contributions to the microscopic anatomy of the pancreas”, in which he refers to islands of clear cells throughout the gland, staining differently than the surrounding tissue.

1871 – Rudolf Virchow arranged a position for him as prosector in pathological anatomy at the University of Freiburg, and within two years he became a full professor.

1874 – He contracted tuberculosis, very likely because of his work in the dissecting room. In search of a cure, he travelled to Naples, Palermo, the island of Capri, and underwent treatments at Davos and Silvaplana in Switzerland, but all in vain: he was forced to apply for release from his university duties.

1875 – He embarked for Funchal on the island of Madeira, where he made a partial recovery and launched himself into a new career with undiminished energy.

1885 – He married Margarethe Ebart, the widow of one of his patients.

1887 – He gave a lecture on these topics to the Royal Academy in Berlin.

1888 – He died of uraemia on the 20th of July, 5 days before his 41st birthday. He is buried in the British cemetery on Madeira, a place he had chosen, describing it as a “true graveyard, isolated and quiet, a good place to rest”.