January 23, 1967


JAMA. 1967;199(4):272-273. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120040082020

Ernst Heinrich Weber applied physical principles to the investigation of physiological problems, which in turn led to major contributions in defining the function of the central and peripheral nerves and the dynamics of the circulation. Weber was born and attended grammar school in Wittenberg, where his father was professor of theology. After attending the Fürstenschule at Meissen, he returned to Wittenberg in his 16th year to begin university studies.1 When the town came under Prussian control in the political campaigns of 1813 and 1814, the university was transferred to Schmiedeberg; there Weber received the MD degree in 1815, qualifying in comparative anatomy after submitting an inaugural dissertation entitled Comparative Anatomy of the Sympathetic Nerves.2 Three teachers especially influenced his academic development: Chladni, a family friend to whom a monograph was later dedicated, the anatomist Rosenmüller, and the physicist Gilbert. Although Weber began the practice of medicine in Leipzig,