Landsteiner, Karl

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 14 June 1868 Vienna, Austria
d. 26 June 1943 New York, USA
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Austrian/American physician, physiologist and immunologist, discoverer of human blood groups.
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He graduated in medicine from Vienna in 1891 and spent the next five years at various European universities. In 1923 he began to work at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York. In 1900, while investigating the disintegration of red blood cells, he discovered the reaction of one person's cells to the serum of another. By 1909 he had developed the classification of four main blood groups, which has proved to be of fundamental importance, particularly in relation to the development of blood-transfusion techniques and blood banks, despite the later discovery of many subgroups as well as of the rhesus factor (1940) and its relation to miscarriages and neonatal disease.
He was involved in research in many other fields, including syphilis, thyroid disease, scarlet fever and typhus, but his main studies were centred on the chemistry of immunology and its significance in allergy.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology 1930. Foreign member of the Royal Society.
Bibliography
1900, "Zur Kenntnis der Antifermentium, Lytischen und Agglutinierenden Werkungen des Blutserums und der Lymphe", Zbl. Bact.
Further Reading
1962, The Specificity of Serological Reactions, New York. 1945–8, Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society.
MG

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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