The New Student's Reference Work/Virchow, Rudolph
Vir'chow (fḗr'kṓ), Rudolph, a German physician and pathologist, was born in Pomerania, Oct. 13, 1821. He studied medicine at Berlin, and lectured on anatomy in the university there. In 1848 he became a leader of the liberal party and was elected to the Prussian house of deputies, losing his position in the university because of his liberal ideas. He was appointed professor of anatomy at Würzburg in 1849, and in 1856 he was called back to Berlin, put in charge of a medical institute, and given the chair of pathological anatomy in the university. The Prussian government sent him in 1848 to Silesia, to study the typhoid fever that was prevailing there; and the Bavarian government, in 1852, asked his aid in ascertaining the causes of a famine fever; while the king of Sweden begged him to investigate the leprosy that was prevalent in the western part of Norway. He was a member of the German Congress and for a long time an alderman of Berlin. He distinguished himself in a number of different fields of learning. He is recognized as the originator of cellular pathology, and, on account of the general bearing of his studies, as one of the founders of modern biology. After 1856 he was director of the Pathological Institute, Berlin. He published a large number of scientific papers, a handbook of Special Pathology, one on Cellular Pathology etc. On his seventieth birthday, Oct. 13, 1891, he was given a public reception, attended by thousands of his friends and former pupils. He died on Sept. 5, 1902.