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Encyclopedia > Rudolf Virchow
Dr. R.L.K. Virchow
Dr. R.L.K. Virchow

Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow (October 13, 1821, Schivelbein (Pomerania) - September 5, 1902, Berlin) was a German doctor, anthropologist, public health activist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist and politician. He is referred to as the "Father of Pathology". Image File history File links Rudolf_Virchow. ... Image File history File links Rudolf_Virchow. ... is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1821 (MDCCCXXI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Åšwidwin (German: Schivelbein), is a town in Middle Pomerania, north-western Poland with some 15,000 inhabitants. ... Pommern redirects here. ... is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... For the chemical substances known as medicines, see medication. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social or political change. ... A renal cell carcinoma (chromophobe type) viewed on a hematoxylin & eosin stained slide Pathologist redirects here. ... A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of organisms. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ...


Scientific Career

From a farming family of relatively modest means, Virchow studied medicine in Berlin at the military academy of Prussia on a scholarship. When he graduated in 1842 he went to serve as Robert Froriep's assistant at the Berlin Charité rather than the expected military service. He was employed as an intern at Charité Hospital in Berlin but was suspended on March 31, 1849 because of his liberal view of the German government. Due to political reasons, he moved to Würzburg two years later, where he worked on anatomy. In 1856, he returned to Berlin as a professor of anatomic pathology (a chair created just for him) at Berlin University and the Berlin Charité where he had previously worked as Froriep's assistant. One of his major contributions to German medical education was to encourage the use of microscopes by medical students and was known for constantly urging his students to 'think microscopically'. The campus where this Charité hospital is located is named after him, the Campus Virchow Klinikum.Then he had a baby and named it apple and had another baby and named it cell :) For the chemical substances known as medicines, see medication. ... For other uses, see Prussia (disambiguation). ... Robert Froriep (1804-1861) was a German physician and Rudolf Virchows (1821-1902) mentor when Froriep was Prosector at the Charité Hospital in Berlin. ... The Charité is the largest university hospital in Europe. ... The Charité is the largest university hospital in Europe. ... Würzburg Residenz. ... Human heart and lungs, from an older edition of Grays Anatomy. ...

Virchow is credited with multiple significant discoveries. He is cited as the first to recognize leukemia. However, he is perhaps best known for his theory Omnis cellula e cellula ("every cell originates from another existing cell like it.") which he published in 1858. (The epigram was actually coined by François-Vincent Raspail but popularized by Virchow). It is a rejection of the concept of spontaneous generation, which held that organisms could arise from non-living matter. It was believed, for example, that maggots could sponteneously appear in decaying meat; Francesco Redi carried out experiments which disproved this. Redi's work gave rise to the maxim Omne vivum ex ovo ("every living thing comes from a living thing"), Virchow (and his predecessors) extended this to state that the only source for a living cell was another living cell. Leukemia or leukaemia(Greek leukos λευκός, “white”; aima αίμα, “blood”) (see spelling differences) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ... An epigram is a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement. ... François-Vincent Raspail (January 25, 1794 - January 7, 1878) was a French chemist, physiologist, and socialist. ... Redi is featured in many modern-day science textbooks due to his experiment. ... Omne vivum ex ovo is Latin for All live [is] from [an] egg. This is a foundational concept of modern biology. ...

Another significant credit relates to the discovery, made approximately simultaneously by Virchow and Charles Emile Troisier, that an enlarged left supra-clavicular node is one of the earliest signs of gastrointestinal malignancy, commonly of the stomach, or less commonly, lung cancer. This has become known as Virchow's node and simultaneously Troisier's sign. In medicine (oncology), Virchows node is an enlarged, hard, left supraclavicular lymph node which can contain metastasis of visceral malignancy. ... Troisiers sign is finding a hard, enlarged, left supraclavicular lymph node. ...

Virchow == is also famous for elucidating the mechanism of pulmonary thromboembolism, coining the term embolism. He noted that blood clots in the pulmonary artery originate first from venous thrombi, stating: "The detachment of larger or smaller fragments from the end of the softening thrombus which are carried along by the current of blood and driven into remote vessels. This gives rise to the very frequent process on which I have bestowed the name of Embolia." Related to this research, Virchow has been attributed adescribing the factors contributing to venous thrombosis, [[Virchow's triad]]. Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. ... An embolism occurs when an object (the embolus, plural emboli) migrates from one part of the body (through circulation) and cause(s) a blockage (occlusion) of a blood vessel in another part of the body. ...

Furthermore, Virchow founded the medical disciplines of cellular pathology, comparative pathology (comparison of diseases common to humans and animals). His very innovative work may be viewed as sitting between that of Morgagni whose work Virchow studied, and that of Paul EhrБlich, who studied at the Charité while Virchow was developing microscopic/---- Cellular pathology is the branch of general pathology studying the cellular basis of disease. ... This article is about modern humans. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Giovanni Battista Morgagni (February 25, 1682 - December 6, 1771), Italian anatomist, was born on at ForIi. ...

Rudolph Virchow, by Hugo Vogel

In 1869 he founded the Society for anthropology, ethnology and prehistory (Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte) which was very influential in coordinating and intensifying German archaeological research. In 1885 he launched a study of craniometry, which gave surprising results according to contemporary scientific racist theories on the "Aryan race", leading him to denounce the "Nordic mysticism" in the 1885 Anthropology Congress in Karlsruhe. Josef Kollmann , a collaborator of Virchow, stated in the same congress that the people of Europe, be them German, Italian, English or French, belonged to a "mixture of various races," furthermore declaring that the "results of craniology" led to "struggle against any theory concerning the superiority of this or that European race" on others [1]. Image File history File links Hugo_Vogel_Rudolf_Virchow. ... Image File history File links Hugo_Vogel_Rudolf_Virchow. ... Ethnology (from the Greek ethnos, meaning people) is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyses the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the racial or national divisions of humanity. ... Stonehenge, England, erected by Neolithic peoples ca. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Scientific racism is a term that describes either obsolete scientific theories of the 19th century or historical and contemporary racist propaganda disguised as scientific research. ... The Aryan race is a concept in European culture that was influential in the period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ... Nordic theory (or Nordicism) was a theory of race prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. ... Karlsruhe (population 285,812 in 2006) is a city in the south west of Germany, in the Bundesland Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border. ...

In 1892 he was awarded the Copley Medal. The Copley Medal is a scientific award for work in any field of science, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. ...

He was a very prolific writer. Some of his works are:

  • Mittelheilungen über die Typhus-Epidemie, (1848)
  • Die Cellularpathologie, (1858), English translation, (1860)
  • Handbuch [[Media:der speciellen Pathologie und Therapie, (1854-62)

== Vorlesungen über Pathologie, (1862-72)

  • Die krankhaften Geschwülste, (1863-67)
  • Gegen den Antisemitismus, (1880) ==

He also developed a standard method of autopsy procedure, named for him, that is still one of the two main techniques used today. More than a laboratory physician, Virchow was an impassioned advocate for social and political reform, stating that physicians should act as "attorneys for the poor." His views are evident in his "Report on the Typhus Outbreak]] of Upper Silesia (1848)," writing that the outbreak could not be solved by treating individual patients with drugs or with minor changes in food, housing, or clothing laws, but only through radical action to promote the advancement of an entire population. [1] He is widely regarded as a pioneer of social medicine. [2] Post-mortem, postmortem and post mortem redirect here. ... For the unrelated disease caused by Salmonella typhi, see Typhoid fever. ... Map of Upper Silesia, 1746 Upper Silesia (Polish: Górny Śląsk, German: Oberschlesien, Czech: Horní Slezsko) is the south-eastern part of Silesia, a historical and geographical region of Poland (Opole Voivodship and Silesian Voivodship) and of the Czech Republic (Silesian-Moravian Region). ... Social Medicine Portal: http://www. ...

He is frequently quoted by the humanitarian physician Paul Farmer, who also won the Society for Medical Anthropology's Rudolph Virchow Award. Farmer states: "Virchow had a comprehensive vision. Pathology, social medicine, politics, anthropology - my model."[3] == Dr. Paul Farmer Paul Farmer (born October 26, 1959) is an American anthropologist and physician, currently the Presley Professor of Medical Anthropology at Harvard University and an attending physician at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. ... // The annual Rudolf Virchow Awards are given by the Critical Anthropology for Global Health Study Group, a special interest group of Society for Medical Anthropology. ... Social Medicine Portal: http://www. ...

Political career

Virchow also worked as a politician (member of the Berlin City Council, the Prussian parliament since 1861, German Reichstag 1880-1893) to improve the health care conditions for the Berlin citizens, namely working towards modern water and sewer systems. Virchow is also credited with the founding of "social medicine", frequently focusing on the fact that disease is never purely biological, but often, socially derived. As a co-founder and member of the liberal party (Deutschen Fortschrittspartei) he was an important political antagonist of Bismarck. The Reichstag (German for Imperial Diet) was the parliament of the Holy Roman Empire, the North German Confederation, and of Germany until 1945. ... The German Progress Party (Deutsche Fortschrittspartei or DFP) was the first modern political party with a program in Germany, founded by the liberal members of the Prussian Lower House in 6 June 1861. ... Bismarck redirects here. ...

One area where he co-operated with Bismarck was in the Kulturkampf, the anti-clerical campaign against the Catholic Church[2] claiming that the anti-clerical laws bore "the character of a great struggle in the interest of humanity".[3]. It was during the discussion of Falk’s May Laws (Maigesetze) that Virchow first used the term [4] The German term Kulturkampf (literally, culture struggle) refers to German policies in relation to secularity and the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, enacted from 1871 to 1878 by the Chancellor of the German Empire, Otto von Bismarck. ... Paul Ludwig Falk (10 August 1827 - 1900), German politician, was born at Matschkau, Silesia. ...

Virchow was respected in masonic circles[5], and according to one source[6] may have been a freemason, though no official record of this has been found.

The Society for Medical Anthropology gives an annual award in Virchow's name, Rudolph Virchow Award. // The annual Rudolf Virchow Awards are given by the Critical Anthropology for Global Health Study Group, a special interest group of Society for Medical Anthropology. ...


  1. ^ Andrea Orsucci, "Ariani, indogermani, stirpi mediterranee: aspetti del dibattito sulle razze europee (1870-1914), Cromohs, 1998 (Italian)
  2. ^ "This anti-Catholic crusade was also taken up by the Progressives, especially Rudolf Virchow, though Richter himself was tepid in his occasional support." Authentic German Liberalism of the 19th Century by Ralph Raico
  3. ^ "The term came into use in 1873, when the scientist and Prussian liberal statesman Rudolf Virchow declared that the battle with the Roman Catholics was assuming “the character of a great struggle in the interest of humanity.”" from Kulturkampf. (2006). Britannica Concise Encyclopedia . Retrieved March 25, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica
  4. ^ A leading German school teacher, Rudolf Virchow, characterized Bismarck's struggle with the Catholic Church as a Kulturkampf - a fight for culture - by which Virchow meant a fight for liberal, rational principles against the dead weight of medieval traditionalism, obscurantism, and authoritarianism." from The Triumph of Civilization by Norman D. Livergood and "Kulturkampf Kul*tur"kampf`, n. [G., fr. kultur, cultur, culture + kampf fight.] (Ger. Hist.) Lit., culture war; - a name, originating with Virchow (1821 - 1902), given to a struggle between the Roman Catholic Church and the German government" Kulturkampf in freedict.co.uk
  5. ^ "Rizal's Berlin associates, or perhaps the word "patrons" would give their relation better, were men as esteemed in Masonry as they were eminent in the scientific world--Virchow, for example." in JOSE RIZAL AS A MASON by AUSTIN CRAIG, The Builder Magazine, August 1916 - Volume II - Number 8
  6. ^ "It was a heady atmosphere for the young Brother, and Masons in Germany, Dr. Rudolf Virchow and Dr. Feodor Jagor, were instrumental in his becoming a member of the Berlin Ethnological and Anthropological Societies." From Dimasalang: The Masonic Life Of Dr. Jose P. Rizal By Reynold S. Fajardo, 33° by Fred Lamar Pearson,hu geabutt ,Scottish Rite Journal, October 1998

José Rizal José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda (June 19, 1861 - December 30, 1896) is the national hero of the Philippines. ...

Further reading

  • Becher, Rudolf Virchow, Berlin, (1891)
  • J. L. Pagel, Rudolf Virchow, Leipzig, (1906)
  • Erwin H. Ackerknecht, Rudolf Virchow: Doctor, Statesman, Anthropologist, Madison, (1953)
  • Virchow, RLK (1978) Cellular pathology. 1859 special ed., 204-207 John Churchill London, UK.
  • The Former Phillipines thru Foreign Eyes, available at Project Gutenburg (co-authored by Virchow with Tomás Comyn, Fedor Jagor, and Chas Wilkes)

Project Gutenberg (PG) was launched by Michael Hart in 1971 in order to provide a library, on what would later become the Internet, of free electronic versions (sometimes called e-texts) of physically existing books. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Rudolf Virchow
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Rudolf Virchow
NAME Virchow, Rudolf
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Virchow, Rudolf Ludwig Karl; "Father of Pathology"
SHORT DESCRIPTION German doctor, anthropologist, public health activist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist and politician
DATE OF BIRTH October 13, 1821
PLACE OF BIRTH Schivelbein (Pomerania
DATE OF DEATH September 5, 1902
PLACE OF DEATH Berlin, Germany

  Results from FactBites:
KSUCVM - DM/P - Personnel - Faculty - Rudolf Virchow (348 words)
Rudolf Carl Virchow was born on Oct. 13, 1821, in Schivelbein, Prussia.
Virchow's concept of cellular pathology replaced the existing theory that disease arose from an imbalance of the four fluid humors of the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and fl bile).
Virchow was elected to the Prussian National Assembly in 1861 and to the German Reichstag in 1880.
Rudolf Virchow - LoveToKnow 1911 (908 words)
RUDOLF VIRCHOW (1821-1902), German pathologist and politician, was born on the 13th of October 1821 at Schivelbein, in Pomerania, where his father was a small farmer and shopkeeper.
He may, in fact, be called the father of modern pathology, for his view, that every animal is constituted by a sum of vital units, each of which manifests the characteristics of life, has almost uniformly dominated the theory of disease.since the middle of the 59th century, when it was enunciated.
In the local and municipal politics of Berlin again he took a leading part, and as a member of the municipal council was largely responsible for the transformation which came over the city in the last thirty years of the 19th century.
  More results at FactBites »



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