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June 30, 1969

Augustus Volney Waller (1816-1870) Wallerian Degeneration

JAMA. 1969;208(13):2469-2470. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160130053015

Augustus Waller, whose name is associated with the regressive changes in severed nerves, was born on a farm in Kent, England. However, most of his childhood was spent with his family in the south of France.1 Upon the death of his father, when Augustus was only 14 years of age, he returned to England, eventually living and studying under Dr. William Lambe, a practicing vegetarian. Waller began the study of medicine in Paris and, in 1840, obtained the degree of doctor of medicine, presenting a graduation thesis entitled Percussion Médiate. The following year he was admitted a licentiate by the Society of Apothecaries in London and, in 1842, entered into general medical practice in Kensington, England.

Waller soon acquired a substantial following; however, a desire for original investigation drew him into experimental work and, after presenting two important studies to the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, he was