Robert Remak

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For the mathematician, Robert Remak (mathematician)
Robert Remak
Robert Remak.jpg
Born 26 July 1815
Died 29 August 1868 (1868-08-30) (aged 53)
Bad Kissingen
Nationality Polish/German
Fields Embryology
Alma mater University of Berlin
Doctoral advisor Ferdinand Georg Frobenius
Hermann Amandus Schwarz
Known for kemoderm, 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.[citation needed] According to historian Paul Weindling, 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 1646803free to read. PMID 3538915. 
  • Schmiedebach, H P (1990), "Robert Remak (1815–1865). A Jewish physician and researcher between recognition and rejection", Zeitschrift für ärztliche Fortbildung, 84 (17), pp. 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), pp. 523–43, PMID 3545332 
  • Seeliger, H P (1985), "The discovery of Achorion schoenleinii. Facts and stories (Johann Lucas Schoenlein and Robert Remak).", Mykosen (published Apr 1985), 28 (4), pp. 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, pp. 161–7, PMID 14059131 

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