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Emil Adolf von Behring

Emil Adolf von Behring, born Adolf Emil Behring (March 15, 1854, Hansdorf – March 31, 1917, Marburg) was a German physiologist and received the 1901 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.  



Behring was born at Hansdorf, Prussia (now Jankowa Zaganska, Poland).

Between 1874 and 1878 he studied medicine at the Army Medical College in Berlin. He was mainly a military doctor and then became Professor of Hygienics within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Marburg (against the initial strenuous opposition of the faculty council), a position he would hold for the rest of his life.

Behring was the discoverer of diphtheria antitoxin and attained a great reputation by that means and by his contributions to the study of immunity. He won the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1901 for developing a serum therapy against diphtheria (this was worked on with Emile Roux) and tetanus. The former had been a scourge of the population, especially children, whereas the other was a leading cause of death in wars, killing the wounded. At the International Tuberculosis Congress in 1905 he announced that he had discovered "a substance proceeding from the virus of tuberculosis." This substance, which he designated "T C", plays the important part in the immunizing action of Professor Behring's "bovivaccine", which prevents bovine tuberculosis.

Behring died at Marburg, Germany, on March 31, 1917. His name survives on in Dade Behring, the world's largest company dedicated solely to clinical diagnostics, in the Behring-Werke in Marburg, and in the Emil von Behring - Prize of the University of Marburg.

His Nobel Prize medal, is now kept on display at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva.

Partial list of publications

  • Die Blutserumtherapie (1892)
  • Bekämpfung der Infektionskrankheiten (1894)
  • Beiträge zur experimentellen Therapie (1906)


    References and further reading

    • This article incorporates text from an edition of the New International Encyclopedia that is in the public domain.
    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Emil_Adolf_von_Behring". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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