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October 4, 1965


JAMA. 1965;194(1):86-87. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090140094028

Max Rubner, Munich born and German trained, was one of the recognized leaders in the calorimetric study of energy exchange of the three principal foodstuffs. Rubner began his training in Carl Voit's laboratory in Munich, where the Pettenkofer-Voit apparatus for quantitative evaluation of respired gases of humans and animals provided mathematical definition to the metabolism of nutrients.1 While still a comparatively young investigator, Rubner moved to Marburg as professor of hygiene. There he built a self-registering calorimeter, quantitated the calories produced in animals, and measured the expired carbon dioxide and the nitrogen excreted in the urine and feces. This led to the law of constant heat sums, expressed by Hess; ie, in a chemical reaction the total heat evolved or absorbed is the same, irrespective of the pathway providing the end-products. In 1891, Rubner succeeded Robert Koch as professor of hygiene at the University of Berlin, followed by appointment