Notable Notes
April 2014

The Men or Women Behind Nevi: Alfred Guido Miescher

Author Affiliations
  • 1Università degli Studi di Milano, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milano, Italy

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(4):411. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.9675

The man behind Miescher nevus is Alfred Guido Miescher. He was born on November 4, 1887, in Naples, Italy. His mother was Marietta Berner, and his father, Max Eduard Miescher, was a businessman. He was the nephew of Johannes Friedrich Miescher (1844-1895), professor of pathophysiology at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and discoverer of nucleic acids. After the father’s death, he followed his mother to Basel, her hometown, where Guido completed his school.

He started his studies in engineering at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, Switzerland, and then switched to medicine, studying in Basel, Zurich, and Munich, Germany.1 Working as an assistant of the dermatologist Bruno Bloch, he wrote his thesis on a case of mycetoma. In 1933, after the death of his mentor, Miescher become professor and director of the University Dermatology Clinic in Zurich. Miescher was an excellent clinician, and he was passionate about clinical dermatology and Dermatopathology. Indeed, he said that “Dermatology is more than morphology.”1

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