June 10, 1968


JAMA. 1968;204(11):1000-1001. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140240056020

August Wassermann, investigator and teacher L whose name for many years was preeminent in the serologic test for syphilis, was born at Bamberg, Germany, the son of a court banker.1 His medical studies were pursued in Erlangen, Vienna, Munich, and finally in Strasbourg, where he graduated MD in 1888. In 1891, he became an assistant to Robert Koch in the Institute for Infectious Diseases in Berlin; subsequently, he lectured in internal medicine and made ward visits at the Charité Hospital in conjunction with the Institute appointment. In 1898, Wassermann received professorial status at the University of Berlin. He was ennobled in 1910 and received a full professorship the following year. But only in 1913, almost 25 years after he began his investigative career, was he placed in charge of his own program upon being appointed director of the new Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Experimental Therapy in Dahlem.

Wassermann's productive