Who is Karl Landsteiner?

Today we celebrate 148 years since Karl Landsteiner was born. Who was he? What was is great impact into the history of medicine and Psychology? Read the answers in the article below.

Karl Landsteiner

Karl Landsteiner is now a famous scientist, the author of the blood group theory that saved lives of thousands of people. However, how did he come to this invention? What is his life story behind this? Let’s look into that.

Karl Landsteiner was born in 1868 in the family of a famous lawyer and a journalist, Leopold Landsteiner. Unfortunately, he passed away when Karl was as small as six years old, so the boy was taken care of by his mother.

The historians say that he loved his mother very deeply. He took her photograph everywhere he went.

Landsteiner nobel prize

He entered the University of Vienna after school and decided to study chemistry. After five years of studying hard at the University in Vienna, he spent several years in the chemistry labs in Zurich where he was working on his biochemical research which he started back at the student years.

The research was dedicated to the person’s diet and its influence on the blood ash. Later he was employed by the General Hospital in Vienna where he kept studying the notion of antibodies in the blood as well as the immune system and its peculiarities.

Between 1898 and 1908 he worked together with Weichselbaum and Fraenckel who are famous for making a number of important medical discoveries at the time. In 1911 Landsteiner became a Professor of Pathological Anatomy; however, he was denied of getting paid correspondently.

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Karl Landsteiner blood

In 1909 after a number of papers published on immunology he discovered what we now know as blood groups that only proved his theory which he offered in 1901-1903. He stated that blood transfusion from one person to another can cause shock, hemoglobinuria or even worse conditions.

He later worked at the Hague and New York, as it was extremely hard to remain his laboratory work in Vienna. In New York thanks to the collaboration with Wiener and Levine at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research they extended his study by adding Rh-factor on the table.

Landsteiner  was devoted to science his whole life and never stopped exploring. He was married and even had children; however, despite this company he preferred being alone and either studying or working in a laboratory.

Karl Landsteiner blood group 1909

At the end of his life he was assigned to be a Professor at Rockefeller Institute; despite long hours at the Institute he seemed to never lose his energy. Landsteiner not only invested time and effort into his field of study, but also helped his fellow-scientists by sharing his general observations on their field of expertise.

Karl Landsteiner died on June 24, 1943. A few days before this tragic event, he was hospitalized after a heart attack. His was found in his laboratory and sent to the hospital. Unfortunately, doctors could not help him.

Landsteiner’s contribution into science is hard to evaluate. The blood donations are being constantly made after his discovery which leads to more lives saved and protected than ever. His dedication to science was remarkable, and we cannot but thank him on this day!

Blood type Landsteiner

Karl Landsteiner was awarded with a number of honors and awards among which was the Nobel Prize for his accomplishments in medicine.

To learn more about his contribution, please watch the video that will tell you more details of his research with visual representation of the study. You will definitely be amazed by how much Landsteiner did – and how much this should mean to us today.

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