Santiago Ramón y Cajal


Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Infobox_Scientist
name = Santiago Ramón y Cajal


imagesize = 180px
birth_date = birth date|1852|5|1|mf=y
birth_place = Navarre, Spain
death_date = death date and age|1934|10|17|1852|5|1
death_place = Madrid, Spain
nationality = Spain
field = Neuroscience
work_institution =
alma_mater=
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students=
known_for =
prizes = Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1906)

Santiago Ramón y Cajal (May 1 1852 – October 17 1934) was a Spanish histologist, physician, and Nobel laureate. His pioneering investigations of the microscopic structure of the brain were so original and influential that he is considered by many to be the greatest neuroscientist of all time. [cite book |last=Jacobsen |first=Marcus |title=Foundations of neuroscience |publisher=Springer |year=1993 |pages=237 |isbn=9780306445408] His skills as an artist allowed him to make hundreds of drawings so beautiful and lucid that many of them are still used for educational purposes today. [cite web |title=History of Neuroscience |publisher=Society for Neuroscience |url=http://www.sfn.org/index.cfm?pagename=HistoryofNeuroscience_main| accessdate=2008-10-09]

Biography

The son of Justo Ramón and Antonia Cajal, Ramón y Cajal was born of Aragonese parents in Petilla de Aragón in Navarra, Spain. As a child he was transferred between many different schools because of his poor behaviour and anti-authoritarian attitude. An extreme example of his precociousness and rebelliousness is his imprisonment at the age of eleven for destroying the town gate with a homemade cannon. He was an avid painter, artist, and gymnast. He worked for a time as a shoemaker and barber, and was well known for his pugnacious attitude.

Ramón y Cajal attended the medical school of Zaragoza, from which he graduated in 1873. After a competitive examination, he served as a medical officer in the Spanish Army. He took part in an expedition to Cuba in 1874-75, where he contracted malaria and tuberculosis. After returning to Spain he married Silveria Fañanás García in 1879, with whom he had four daughters and three sons. He was appointed as a university professor at Valencia in 1881, and in 1883 he received his medical degree in Madrid. He later held professorships in both Barcelona and Madrid. He was Director of the Zaragoza Museum (1879), Director of the National Institute of Hygiene (1899), and founder of the _es. "Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biológicas" (1922) (later renamed to the _es. "Instituto Cajal", or Cajal Institute). He died in Madrid in 1934.

Works and theories

Ramón y Cajal's most famous studies were on the fine structure of the central nervous system. Cajal used a histological staining technique developed by his contemporary Camillo Golgi. Golgi found that by treating brain tissue with a silver chromate solution, a relatively small number of neurons in the brain were darkly stained. This allowed Cajal to resolve in detail the structure of individual neurons and led him to conclude that nervous tissue was composed of individual, autonomous cells, instead of a continuous web. Cajal was instrumental in compiling work to support the Neuron doctrine, the idea that neurons are the basic structural and functional units of the nervous system.

Distinctions and books

Among his many distinctions and societal memberships, Ramón y Cajal was also made an honorary Doctor of Medicine of the Universities of Cambridge and Würzburg and honorary Doctor of Philosophy of the Clark University.

He published over 100 scientific works and articles in French, Spanish, and German. Among his most notable were "Rules and advices on scientific investigation", "Histology", "Degeneration and regeneration of the nervous system", "Manual of normal histology and micrographic technique", "Elements of histology", "Manual of general pathological anatomy", "New ideas on the fine anatomy of the nerve centres", "Textbook on the nervous system of man and the vertebrates", and "The retina of vertebrates".

In 1905, he published five science-fictional "Vacation Stories" under the pen name "Dr. Bacteria."

The asteroid 117413 Ramonycajal is named in his honour.

Gallery of drawings by Santiago Ramón y Cajal

ee also

*
*Interstitial cells of Cajal

Notes

References

*cite book
author = Ramón y Cajal, Santiago
year = 1937
title = _es. "Recuerdos de mi Vida"
publisher = MIT Press
location = Cambridge
isbn = 8420622907

*cite book
author = Ramón y Cajal, Santiago
others = translated by Neely Swanson and Larry W. Swanson
year = 1999
origyear = 1897
title = "Advice for a Young Investigator"
publisher = MIT Press
location = Cambridge
isbn = 0262681501

*cite book
author = Everdell, William R.
year = 1998
title = "The First Moderns"
publisher = University of Chicago Press
location = Chicago
isbn = 0226224805

Publications available online

*cite book
author = Ramón y Cajal, Santiago
year = 1899
title = Comparative Study of the Sensory Areas of the Human Cortex
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=2Dv-zWg89tsC

*cite book
author = Ramón y Cajal, Santiago
coauthors = Richard Greeff
year = 1894
publisher = Bergmann
title = Die Retina der Wirbelthiere: Untersuchungen mit der Golgi-cajal'schen Chromsilbermethode und der ehrlich'schen Methylenblaufärbung
language = German
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=rSXltRD9VDsC

*cite book
author = Ramón y Cajal, Santiago
coauthors = Johannes Bresler, E. Mendel
year = 1896
publisher = Verlag von Johann Ambrosius Barth
title = Beitrag zum Studium der Medulla Oblongata: Des Kleinhirns und des Ursprungs der Gehirnnerven
language = German
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=lFDQWR8dPucC

*cite book
author = Ramón y Cajal, Santiago
coauthors = L. Azoulay
year = 1894
publisher = C. Reinwald
title = Les nouvelles idées sur la structure du système nerveux chez l'homme et chez les vertébrés
language = French
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=nysaAAAAYAAJ

*cite book
author = Ramón y Cajal, Santiago
year = 1906
publisher = Johann Ambrosius Barth
title = Studien über die Hirnrinde des Menschen v.5
language = German
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=eMmtxDaSFv8C

External links

* [http://nobelprize.org/medicine/laureates/1906/index.html The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1906]
* [http://nobelprize.org/medicine/articles/cajal/ Life and discoveries of Cajal]
* [http://www.pyreneesguide.com/articles.asp?cID=56&sID=395&aID=1449 Ramon y Cajal, an Aragonese Nobel Prize]
* [http://www.bib.ub.edu/recursos-informacio/colleccions/colleccions-especials/fons-ramon-y-cajal/ Special Collection: Santiago Ramón y Cajal] (University of Barcelona Library)
* [http://www.psu.edu/nasa/cajal.htm Brief overview of Cajal's career]

Persondata
NAME= Cajal, Santiago Ramón y
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Spanish neuroscientist
DATE OF BIRTH= May 1 1852
PLACE OF BIRTH= Aragon, Spain
DATE OF DEATH= October 17 1934
PLACE OF DEATH= Madrid, Spain


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