46 Facts About Paul Ehrlich


Paul Ehrlich was a Nobel Prize-winning German physician and scientist who worked in the fields of hematology, immunology, and antimicrobial chemotherapy.

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Paul Ehrlich's laboratory discovered arsphenamine, the first effective medicinal treatment for syphilis, thereby initiating and naming the concept of chemotherapy.

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Paul Ehrlich was the founder and first director of what is known as the Paul Ehrlich Institute, a German research institution and medical regulatory body that is the nation's federal institute for vaccines and biomedicines.

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Paul Ehrlich was born 14 March 1854 in Strehlen in the Prussian province of Lower Silesia in what is south-west Poland.

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Paul Ehrlich was the uncle of Fritz Weigert and cousin of Karl Weigert.

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Paul Ehrlich retained that interest during his subsequent medical studies at the universities of Wroclaw, Strasbourg, Freiburg im Breisgau and Leipzig.

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Paul Ehrlich settled in the villa of the Frankel family on Wiesenerstrasse in Neustadt.

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In 1891, Robert Koch invited Paul Ehrlich to join the staff at his Berlin Institute of Infectious Diseases, where in 1896 a new branch, the Institute for Serum Research and Testing, was established for Paul Ehrlich's specialization.

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In 1904, Paul Ehrlich received a full position of honorary professor from the University of Gottingen.

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In 1906 Paul Ehrlich became the director of the Georg Speyer House in Frankfurt, a private research foundation affiliated with his institute.

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In 1914, Paul Ehrlich was awarded the Cameron Prize of the University of Edinburgh.

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In 1914, Paul Ehrlich signed the Manifesto of the Ninety-Three which was a defense of Germany's World War I politics and militarism.

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Paul Ehrlich spent his eighth university semester in Freiburg im Breisgau investigating primarily the red dye dahlia, giving rise to his first publication.

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Paul Ehrlich discovered in the protoplasm of supposed plasma cells a granulate which could be made visible with the help of an alkaline dye.

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Paul Ehrlich thought this granulate was a sign of good nourishment, and accordingly named these cells mast cells, .

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Paul Ehrlich used both alkaline and acid dyes, and created new "neutral" dyes.

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Paul Ehrlich demonstrated the existence of nucleated red blood cells, which he subdivided into normoblasts, megaloblasts, microblasts and poikiloblasts; he had discovered the precursors of erythrocytes.

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Paul Ehrlich thus laid the basis for the analysis of anemias, after he had created the basis for systematizing leukemias with his investigation of white blood cells.

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On 24 March 1882, Paul Ehrlich was present when Robert Koch, working since 1880 at the Imperial Public Health Office in Berlin, presented the lecture in which he reported how he was able to identify the tuberculosis pathogen.

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Paul Ehrlich later described this lecture as his "greatest experience in science".

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The day after Koch's lecture, Paul Ehrlich had already made an improvement to Koch's staining method, which Koch unreservedly welcomed.

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In 1887 Paul Ehrlich became an unsalaried lecturer in internal medicine at Berlin University, and in 1890 took over the tuberculosis station at a public hospital in Berlin-Moabit at Koch's request.

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Paul Ehrlich had started his first experiments on immunization already in his private laboratory.

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Paul Ehrlich interpreted this as immunization and observed that it was abruptly initiated after a few days and was still in existence after several months, but mice immunized against ricin were just as sensitive to abrin as untreated animals.

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Paul Ehrlich rejected inheritance in the genetic sense because the offspring of a male mouse immunized against abrin and an untreated female mouse were not immune to abrin.

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Paul Ehrlich concluded that the fetus was supplied with antibodies via the pulmonary circulation of the mother.

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Paul Ehrlich researched autoimmunity, but he specifically rejected the possibility that an organism's immune system could attack the organism's own tissue calling it "horror autotoxicus".

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Paul Ehrlich was the first to propose that regulatory mechanisms existed to protect an organism from autoimmunity, saying in 1906 that "the organism possesses certain contrivances by means of which the immunity reaction, so easily produced by all kinds of cells, is prevented from acting against the organism's own elements".

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Paul Ehrlich resented what he considered as unfair treatment, and his relationship with Behring was thereafter problematic, a situation which later escalated over the issue of the valency of tetanus serum.

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Paul Ehrlich recognized that the principle of serum therapy had been developed by Behring and Kitasato.

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Paul Ehrlich discovered that the toxin being used was perishable, in contrast to what had been assumed, which for him led to two consequences: He did not use the toxin as a standard, but instead a serum powder developed by Behring, which had to be dissolved in liquid shortly before use.

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Paul Ehrlich claimed to have made the determination of the valency of serum as accurate as it would be with chemical titration.

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Paul Ehrlich postulated that cell protoplasm contains special structures which have chemical side chains to which the toxin binds, affecting function.

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In 1901, the Prussian Ministry of Finance criticized Paul Ehrlich for exceeding his budget and as a consequence reduced his income.

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Paul Ehrlich had received from the German Emperor Wilhelm II a personal request to devote all his energy to cancer research.

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Paul Ehrlich informed his sponsors that cancer research meant basic research, and that a cure could not be expected soon.

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Paul Ehrlich injected the dyes alizarin blue and indophenol blue into laboratory animals and established after their death that various organs had been colored to different degrees.

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Paul Ehrlich initiated a doctoral dissertation on the subject, but did not follow up the topic himself.

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Paul Ehrlich was looking for an agent which was as effective as methylene blue, but without its side effects.

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Paul Ehrlich's model was on the one hand the impact of quinine on malaria, and on the other hand, in analogy to serum therapy, he thought there must be chemical pharmaceuticals which would have just as specific an effect on individual diseases.

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Paul Ehrlich's goal was to find a "Therapia sterilisans magna", in other words a treatment that could kill all disease pathogens.

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Paul Ehrlich elaborated the systematic testing of chemical compounds in the sense of screening as now practiced in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Paul Ehrlich's work illuminated the existence of the blood-brain barrier, although he himself never believed in such a barrier, with Lina Stern later coining the phrase.

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Paul Ehrlich was accused, with clearly anti-Semitic undertones, of excessively enriching himself.

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Paul Ehrlich reasoned that if a compound could be made that selectively targeted a disease-causing organism, then a toxin for that organism could be delivered along with the agent of selectivity.

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In Nazi Germany, Paul Ehrlich's achievements were ignored while Emil Adolf von Behring was stylized as the ideal Aryan scientist, and the street named after Paul Ehrlich was given another name.

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