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JAMA Revisited
April 4, 2017

Ehrlich and Von Behring

JAMA. 2017;317(13):1381. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0642

Originally Published April 7, 1917 | JAMA. 1917;68(14):1045- 1046.

On Aug. 20, 1915, Dr. Paul Ehrlich died from heart disease; now the cable brings word that after long months of illness Dr. Emil Adolph von Behring is dead. He died April 1, 1917, aged 63. Behring was born March 15 and Ehrlich March 14, 1854, “twin sons of science and humanity,” as they have been called; both, in 1890 and 1891, entered the service of the Institute for Infectious Diseases under Robert Koch became his assistants.

Behring’s discovery of diphtheria antitoxin overshadowed his other work, but his research proved stimulating in many other ways. He was trained as an army medical man, and served as such at Posen, Bonn and Berlin, until appointed assistant at the Hygienic Institute and later at the Institute for Infectious Diseases. In 1894 he was called to the chair of hygiene at Halle and the year later to Marburg, where he has since made his home. Here he had charge of the Institute for Research, with its large medical farm, and to this he devoted most of the money that came to him in prizes and other ways. At the first distribution of the Nobel prizes, he was awarded the prize for the greatest discovery in medicine.… Among his more recent scientific work are his improved antitetanus serum and his method of computing the total amount of blood.