In 1853 he earned his doctorate at Halle, and from 1854 until 1862 was an assistant to Albrecht von Graefe (1828-1870) in Berlin. He subsequently practiced medicine in Paris (from 1862) and London (from 1870), where he was head of ophthalmology at St. Thomas Hospital. He later retired from medicine and moved back to Paris, where he worked as a sculptor and painter. His brother, Oskar Liebreich (1839-1908) was a noted pharmacologist.
In 1863 he published the highly acclaimed Atlas des Ophthalmoscopie, an atlas dedicated to the subject of ophthalmoscopy. He also designed a popular model of ophthalmoscope called the "Liebreich ophthalmoscope". He was interested in the pathological changes of the eye as viewed through the ophthalmoscope, and in 1859 provided a classic description of ocular changes in Bright's disease.
As an assistant to Albrecht von Graefe, Liebreich performed important research involving Usher syndrome, and demonstrated the combined heritability of blindness and deafness concerning the disease. During his first tenure in Paris he performed a successful operation on the mother-in-law of emperor Napoléon III.
- This article incorporates text based on a translation of an article from the German Wikipedia.
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- Gilai Collectibles Photo of ca. 1875 Liebreich ophthalmoscope