Ehrlich Essay, Research Paper The German bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich made important advances to the world of medicine. He is best remembered for his development of the arsenic compound number 606, which was used as a treatment of syphilis. As a Nobel Prize Winner and an honored scientist, fellow scientists and doctors praise Paul Ehrlich for his contributions.
Ehrlich Essay, Research Paper
The German bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich made important advances to the world of medicine. He is best remembered for his development of the arsenic compound number 606, which was used as a treatment of syphilis. As a Nobel Prize Winner and an honored scientist, fellow scientists and doctors praise Paul Ehrlich for his contributions. Ehrlich led a wonderful and intriguing life, which is greatly admired.
Paul Ehrlich was born on March 14, 1854 in Strehlen Prussia. He was the son of a prosperous Jewish family. Ismar Ehrlich and Rosa (Weigert) Ehrlich, Paul’s parents, were both from scientific backgrounds. It was not surprising that he had an attraction to the realm of science. Paul Ehrlich looked up to his cousin Karl Weigert. Paul began primary school at St. Maria Magdalena Humanistic Gymnasium at the age of six. He graduated at in 1872. After his graduation, he attended the University of Breslau for a semester then transferred to the University of Strassburg. With help
from his tutor, he was able to discover a new variety of mastcells through his staining experiments. Paul then returned to the University of Breslau in 1874. He continued to experiment with dyes in Leipzig, where his university studies continued. In 1877, Paul Ehrlich published a paper on dyes. A year later, he graduated as a doctor of medicine.
Ehrlich’s major contributions to science began as soon as he became a doctor. Now a doctor Paul Ehrlich became assistant and eventually the senior house physician at the Charite Hospital in Berlin. While working at the hospital, Ehrlich grew to be known as an expert stainer. He showed that all dyes could be categorized as being basic, acid, or neutral. Through staining experiments, he discovered the tubercule bacilli. With this discovery, Ehrlich collaborated with Robert Koch and undertook the first treatment of patients with tuberculosis in the Moabit Hospital located in Berlin. Paul Ehrlich married a nineteen-year-old Hedwig Pinkus in 1883. Almost a year later Ehrlich made titular professor at Berlin. In 1887, he became a teacher at the University of Berlin but because of anti-Semitic feelings, he was not paid. Ehrlich contracted tuberculosis because of his
laboratory work. He and his wife went to Egypt so he could recover and they returned three years later in 1890. With the discovery of Koch’s new tuberculin treatment Ehrlich never had a recurrence. In the same year, Robert Koch appointed Ehrlich as one of his assistants at the Institute for Infectious Diseases. Here, Ehrlich begins the immunological studies that make him famous.
Ehrlich first developed the side-chain theory in which he demonstrated how one of the two different chemical groups in the toxin molecule aligns the toxin molecule to the side-chains or receptors, which exposing the cell to damage. In 1907, he synthesized several hundred derivative compounds from atoxyl. Ehrlich’s work was dedicated mainly to the study of chemotherapy. He wanted to find chemical substances that have special affinities for pathogenic organisms so he could cure diseases. When the cause of syphilis was discovered, Ehrlich decided to look for a drug that would be effective against the cause. On April 1910, he announced the invention of number 606(Salvarsan), which was proved to efficient against syphilis. With more investigation, it was found out that
the 914th arsenical substance, although less effective, was more practical. In 1914, his health declined and after a small stroke, he entered a sanatorium for treatment. On August 20, 1915 in Homburg, Germany Paul Ehrlich died from another stroke.
During Paul Ehrlich’s lifetime, he was awarded many honors. He was a member of 81 academies and other learned associations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, the USA and Venezuela. He also held honorary doctorates in several universities. In 1887, he received the Tiedman Prize at Frankfurt. In 1897, the Prussian Government elected Ehrlich Privy Medical Counsel. The Prize of Honor at the XVth International Congress of Medicine at Lisbon was awarded to Ehrlich in 1906. He was awarded one of the most sought after prizes, the Nobel Prize, in 1908 for Physiology or Medicine. He was also given, in 1911, the Liebig Medal of the German Chemical Society. He was renominated for the Nobel Prize in 1912 for his work in
chemotherapy. Finally, in 1914 he received the Cameron Prize. Paul Ehrlich was well praised and honored by the citizens of the world.
Making outstanding advances in medicine for the good of mankind, Paul Ehrlich is one of the greatest minds of science. He most remembered for his work in chemotherapy and work that led to the cure for diphtheria. He was shown how much people admired him through awards and other various honors. The contributions that Ehrlich made for modern science are greatly appreciated by people everywhere.
D’Abano-Flamsteed, ed. The Grolier Library of Science Biographies: “Paul
Ehrlich.” Vol. 3. Grolier Education: Danbury, Ct., 1996.
Diderot, ed. Encylcopedia of World Biography, 2nd edition. “Paul Ehrlich.”
Gale Research: Detroit, Mi., 1998.
http://www.nobel.se/lauretes/medicine-1908-2-bio.html. “Paul Ehrlich.”
Ford, Peter, ed. Scientist and Inventors. J.G. Ferguson Publishing Company:
Porter, Roy, ed. The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists. Oxford
University Press: NY, 1994.
Wasson, Tyler, ed. Nobel Prize Winners. “Paul Ehrlich.” The H.W Wilson
Company: NY, 1987.
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