March 13, 1967


JAMA. 1967;199(11):844-845. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120110116026

PG. Unna, one of the leading dermatologists of central Europe, a prodigious worker and a prolific writer, labored in the vineyard without institutional or academic affiliation. Throughout his career he excelled in the development of dermatologic microscopy, enhanced the clinical description of a number of dermatologic disorders, and enjoyed an enviable status as an outstanding consultant in the diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous maladies. Unna was born in Hamburg, the son of a physician in a family with a strong medical tradition.1 His higher education was gained at the universities of Heidelberg, Leipzig, and Strasbourg. Studies at Heidelberg were interrupted by the Franco-Prussian War, in which Unna received a serious battle wound. However, for this service and injury he was granted a pension by his government, which in later years he gave as prizes for students.

Unna's inaugural thesis, suggested by Waldeyer and presented for the MD degree in 1875 at Strasbourg, discussed the embryology of the skin.