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Karl Landsteiner, MD

Born: June 14, 1868
Died: June 26, 1943

Major Contribution:

Credited with discovering the poliomyelitis virus, Karl Landsteiner demonstrated a slide of the familiar histological picture of acute poliomyelitis that had been made from the spinal cords of two monkeys, who had been injected with a suspension from a boy of nine who died from polio. This early work (1908) was done with Erwin Popper. Landsteiner abandoned work on polio, in part, because he recognized how costly the research was for laboratories that purchased and cared for a large quantity of monkeys and chimpanzees. Landsteiner is probably better known for his discovery of blood groups, or blood types.

Other Information:

Brief Biography: Landsteiner was an early 1900s immunologist who won the 1930 Nobel Prize for classifying the blood of human beings into the now well-known A, B, AB, and O groups. Vienna was the place of his birth, and he graduated there in medicine when he was twenty-three. Due to the circumstances of World War I, he moved to Holland where he was a pathologist at the R.K Ziekenhuis in the Hague. A few years later, he moved to New York to become a member of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical research, where he continued his studies on human blood groups. He became a member emeritus in 1939 and worked until his death in 1943. 

Location of papers:
Rockefeller Archive Center
15 Dayton Avenue
Sleepy Hollow, New York 10591
914-631-6017 fax

Major Articles: Karl Landsteiner, MD

Articles Found at ScienceDirect.com

Karl Landsteiner, the melancholy genius: His time and his colleagues, 1868–1943. Matthew Gottlieb Transfusion Medicine Reviews, Volume 12, Issue 1, January 1998, pages 18-27.

Karl Landsteiner died forty years ago. F. Borek. Journal of Immunological Methods, Volume 65, Issue 3, 30 December 1983, Page 388.

Karl Landsteiner. J. E. McCartney. The Lancet, Volume 242, Issue 6257, 31 July 1943, page 144.

Karl Landsteiner 1808-1948. The Lancet, Volume 242, Issue 6256, 24 July 1943, pages 110-111.

Articles found at JSTOR

Review: Author(s) of Review: Bentley Glass. Reviewed Work(s): The Specificity of Serological Reactions. Karl Landsteiner. The Quarterly Review of Biology > Vol. 39, No. 1 (Mar., 1964), pp. 102-103.

Review: Author(s) of Review: Mark Jackson. Reviewed Work(s): Species and Specificity: An Interpretation of the History of Immunology. Pauline M. H. Mazumdar. The British Journal for the History of Science > Vol. 29, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), pp. 249-250.

Karl Landsteiner. 1868-1943. Peyton Rous. Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society > Vol. 5, No. 15 (Feb., 1947), pp. 294-324. (Note: This article contains high-quality images.) Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=1479-571X%28194702%295%3A15%3C294%3AKL1...

Review:  Author(s) of Review: Arthur M. Silverstein. Reviewed Work(s): Species and Specificity: An Interpretation of the History of Immunology. Pauline M H Mazumdar.The Quarterly Review of Biology > Vol. 71, No. 4 (Dec., 1996), pp. 549-552.

Key word suggestions for additional publication searches: poliomyelitis, poliovirus, blood types, blood groups, pathological anatomy, histology and immunology, serology, antigens, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1930, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, Pasteur Institute, Wassermann reaction.


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