Robert Remak

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For the mathematician, Robert Remak (mathematician)
Robert Remak
Robert Remak.jpg
Born 26 July 1815 = Posen
Died 29 August 1865
Bad Kissingen
Nationality Polish/German
Fields Embryology
Alma mater University of Berlin
Doctoral advisor Ferdinand Georg Frobenius
Hermann Amandus Schwarz
Known for Ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm

Robert Remak (26 July 1815 – 29 August 1865) was a Polish/German embryologist, physiologist, and neurologist, born in Posen, Prussia. Dr. Remak obtained his medical degree from Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin in 1838 specializing in neurology.[1] He is best known for reducing Karl Ernst von Baer's four germ layers to three: the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. He also discovered unmyelinated nerve fibres and the nerve cells in the heart sometimes called Remak's ganglia. He studied under Johannes Muller at the University of Berlin.

Remak discovered that the origin of cells was by the division of pre-existing cells.[2]

Despite his accomplishments, because of his Jewish faith, he was repeatedly denied full professor status until late in life, and even then was denied the usual benefits of the position. Rudolf Virchow, one of the founders of modern cell theory, plagiarized the notion that all cells come from pre-existing cells from Remak.[3]

His son Ernst Julius Remak was also a neurologist and his grandson was the mathematician Robert Remak who died in Auschwitz in 1942.


  1. ^ Kish, B. 1954. Forgotten leaders in modern medicine: Valentin, Gruby, Remak, Auerbach. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. 44, Issue 2, 139–317.
  2. ^ Magner, Lois N. A history of the life sciences. p185
  3. ^ Silver, George A. (January 1987). "Virchow, the heroic model in medicine: health policy by accolade". American Journal of Public Health 77 (1): 86. doi:10.2105/AJPH.77.1.82. PMC 1646803. PMID 3538915. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  • Schmiedebach, H P (1990), "Robert Remak (1815–1865). A Jewish physician and researcher between recognition and rejection", Zeitschrift für ärztliche Fortbildung 84 (17): 889–94, PMID 2251855 
  • Anderson, C T (1986), "Robert Remak and the multinucleated cell: eliminating a barrier to the acceptance of cell division.", Bulletin of the history of medicine 60 (4): 523–43, PMID 3545332 
  • Seeliger, H P (1985), "The discovery of Achorion schoenleinii. Facts and stories (Johann Lucas Schoenlein and Robert Remak).", Mykosen (Apr 1985) 28 (4): 161–82, PMID 3889638 
  • Schwann, J; Schwann, S (1963), "Circimstances of the Discovery of the Pathogen of Favus (Trichophyton Schoenleini, Achorion Schoenleini) by Robert Remark", Annales Academiae Medicae Stetinensis 9: 161–7, PMID 14059131 

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