Biologists are tasked with researching diseases and ways to treat them. Over the past few centuries, humankind has taken giant strides into discovering medicine, causes of illnesses and significantly advanced in the world of medicine. This has resulted in people living longer and more fulfilling lives.
The Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology is awarded to the individuals who conferred the greatest benefit to humans in the fields of medicine and physiology. This is according to its inventor Alfred Bernhard Nobel. Here is a list of 10 biologists awarded the Nobel Prize for their immense contribution to the field.
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1. Emil Von Behring
Emil Von Behring was a physiologist from Germany. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine in 1901 after discovering an antitoxin for diphtheria. During this time, diphtheria was a leading cause of death for children. For discovering the antitoxin, he got the title, ‘The savior of children’. The antitoxin has been used all over the world since then as part of the infant immunization program. Emil was also honored with Prussian nobility in the same year, which led him to earn the name Von Behring.
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2. Sir Ronald Ross
Sir Ronald Ross was a British doctor, born in 1857. He received a Nobel Prize for medicine after discovering the transmission of Malaria in 1902. In 1897, Ronald found that the malaria parasite was harbored in the gastrointestinal tract of a mosquito. Therefore, he realized that the parasite was transmitted whenever a mosquito bit its human victim. This laid the ground for measures to control Malaria, a leading killer disease worldwide.
3. Niels Ryberg Finsen
Niels Ryberg Finsen was a Danish physician that was born in the Faroese islands in Iceland. He was awarded his Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1903 for his contribution to treating diseases. Niels is best known for discovering the cure for lupus vulgaris. He found that it could be treated by concentrated light radiation. He created electric carbon arcs for skin therapy, which were very effective. This opened a new avenue for phototherapy.
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4. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a Russian research psychologist that had high intellectual curiosity. He had a particular interest in behavior and how it could be modified to fit the norms of society. It is in this research that Ivan discovered classical conditioning. He became the father of behavioral therapy used in a clinical setting. Ivan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1904.
5. Robert Koch
Robert Koch was a German-born microbiologist that devoted his energy to discovering the causative agents for infectious diseases. He was the founder of modern microbiology, especially bacteriology. In the course of his study, he discovered the causative agents for anthrax, cholera and tuberculosis. This led him to win a Nobel Prize in medicine in 1905.
6. Camillo Golgi
Camillo Golgi was an Italian pathologist and biologist known for his work in the central nervous system. He studied at the University of Pavia, where he spent most of his professional life. At the university, he discovered Golgi’s staining method (named after him) and made a breakthrough in neuroscience. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1906.
7. Santiago Ramon
Ramon was also a Spanish neuroscientist and pathologist who specialized in neuroanatomy. He joined Golgi in receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1906. His major contribution in the field of neuroscience was investigations into the microscopic structures of the brain. Ramon’s illustrations of the brain cells are still in use for training and educational purposes.
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8. Charles Louis Laveran
Charles Louis Laveran was a French physician who won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1907. He was recognized for his work in discovering parasitic organisms that caused infectious diseases such as trypanosomiasis. He also discovered that a protozoan parasite called plasmodium caused Malaria. Louis donated half the prize money to the Laboratory of Tropical Medicine at Pasteur Institute.
9. Emil Theodor Kocher
Emil Theodor Kocher was a Swiss medical researcher and physician who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1909. He was recognized for his work in physiology, surgery and pathology of the thyroid. Among his contribution to medicine includes the introduction of aseptic surgery and scientific methods in carrying out surgery. By using these methods, he was able to reduce mortality rates from thyroidectomies below 1%.
10. Ludwig Karl Martin
Ludwig Karl Martin was a German biochemist that pioneered the study of genetics. Due to his work, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1910. Part of his contribution to the world of biology includes determining the nucleic acid composition, the primary genetic material in biological cells. He was able to separate various compounds that form the bases for the formation of RNA and DNA genetic material found in living cells.
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