The Nobel Prize has survived more than a century in awarding academic works. It has awarded 923 people in different categories since its inception. But have you ever wondered who won the first prize in each category? Let’s talk about Emil Adolf Behring, the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Known As : Saviour of children
Born : March 15, 1854 in Hansdorf, Prussia
Died : March 31, 1917 in Marburg, Hesse-Nassau(at the age of 63)
Nationality : German
Famous For : Diphtheria Antitoxin
Awards : Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine(1901)
7 Interesting Facts about Emil Adolf von Behring :
1) Behring was the First Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine
Emil Adolf Behring was a German physiologist best known as the saviour of children. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1901 for the discovery of diphtheria antitoxin. This made him the first person to win the Prize in that category.
2) Prussian Nobility
Behring received several awards aside from the Nobel Prize. This is because of his contribution to the field of science, especially in medicine. He was honoured with Prussian nobility the same year as he won the Nobel Prize. This is why his surname became von Behring.
3) Early Life and Education
Behring was born in Province of Prussia currently called Poland. He received his education at the Akademie für das militärärztliche Bildungswesen, where he studied medicine. After his education, he became a military doctor. Aside from his job as a doctor, Behring was also an academician. He taught at the University of Marburg where he became a Professor of Hygienic at the Faculty of Medicine. He held that position until his death.
During his years at the University of Marburg, Behring and pharmacologist Han Horst Meyer exchanged professional ideas. The two had their laboratories in the same building making communication much easier. In 1890, he discovered diphtheria antitoxin, which was used to treat diphtheria and tetanus.
5) Where his Prize is Held
His Nobel Prize is still opened to public viewing. It is now held at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva. His effort and contribution to the field of medicine saved a lot of lives.
6) He Cheated Paul Ehrlich
Behring worked with Paul Ehrlich in the research into diphtheria. But, he refused to share the financial gains of the project with him. He also did not mention him when receiving the Nobel Prize.
7) Personal Life
Behring was married to Else Spinola. The couple had six children all males. After their marriage, they honeymooned at villa Behring on Capri. It was the vacation home of Behring.