The Men Who Made Up The History Of Cells


Theodor Schwann


Schwann, Theodor (1810-82), German physiologist, generally considered the founder of modern histology, the study of the structure of plant and animal tissues.

Schwann was born in Neuss and educated at the universities of Bonn, Warzburg, and Berlin. He was (1838-48) professor of anatomy at the University of Leuven in Belgium; there after until his death he was associated with the University of Libge, also in Belgium, serving as professor of anatomy from 1848 to 1858, when he became professor of physiology. Schwann achieved the physiochemical nature of life by applying the cell theory of the German botanist Matthias Jakob Schleiden to the evolution of animal life. He also demonstrated that the mature tissues of all animals are traceable to embryonic cells. While assisting the German physiologist Johannes Miller in the Anatomical Museum of Berlin, Schwann discovered pepsin, the digestive enzyme, in the stomach epithelium, or membrane tissues, of animals. He also conducted valuable research on the processes of fermentation, purefaction, and muscular and arterial contraction. His principal work is Microscopic Investigations on the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Plants and Animals (1839-1847).

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