Marc Armand Ruffer

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Marc Armand Ruffer

Sir Marc Armand Ruffer (1859, Lyon, France – 17 April 1917) was an Anglo-German experimental pathologist and bacteriologist. He is considered a pioneer of modern paleopathology.


He was the son of German banker Baron Alphonse Jacques Ruffer and his German wife Caroline. Ruffer married Alice Mary Greenfield in 1890 and had three children.


He studied at Brasenose, Oxford, University College London and the Pasteur Institute in Paris.


In 1891 he was appointed the first director of the British Institute of Preventive Medicine, latterly the Lister Institute.

Moving to Egypt for health reasons, Ruffer was appointed a professor of bacteriology at the The Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University in 1896, later taking roles on committees dealing with health, disease, and sanitation. In Egypt he worked on the histology of mummies publishing his findings and helping to establish the field of palaeopathology.

Knighted in 1916, he went to Greece during the First World War to improve sanitation. Returning to Egypt on board the ship SS Arcadian[1] on 17 April 1917, he was lost at sea when the ship was torpedoed off the Greek coast without warning by the German submarine UC-74 with the loss of 279 lives, 35 of which were crew.


  1. ^ "S.S.Arcadian at the Roll of Honour website". Retrieved 28 July 2012.