Ludwig Aschoff

Ludwig Aschoff

German pathologist and founder of the scientific school
Date of Birth: 10.01.1866
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Ludwig Aschoff
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Career as a Pathologist
  4. Contributions to Medicine
  5. Research and Travel
  6. Later Life and Legacy

Biography of Ludwig Aschoff

Early Life and Education

Ludwig Aschoff, the eldest of three brothers and sisters, was born on January 10, 1866, in Berlin, Prussia. His parents were Friedrich Heinrich Ludwig Aschoff, a high-ranking medical professional, and Blanka Wilhelmine Heinze. His paternal grandfather was a pharmacist in Bielefeld. Aschoff studied medicine at the University of Bonn, the University of Strasbourg, and the University of Würzburg.

Career as a Pathologist

In 1894, Aschoff became an associate professor and in 1901, he was appointed as a professor of pathology at the University of Göttingen. Two years later, he moved to the University of Marburg to head the department of pathological anatomy. In 1906, Aschoff was appointed as a full professor at the University of Freiburg, where he remained until his death. He also visited and lectured at universities in Toronto, New York City, and Buffalo.

Contributions to Medicine

Aschoff's main interests lay in the pathology and pathophysiology of the heart. He discovered that during rheumatic fever, granulomas called Aschoff-Talalay nodules form in the myocardium. He also collaborated with Sunao Tawara to discover and describe the atrioventricular node, known as the Aschoff-Tawara node. Aschoff's international reputation attracted students from around the world, particularly from Japan.

Research and Travel

Aschoff embarked on numerous research trips to countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Spain, Japan, and the United States. These trips led to numerous collaborative studies, and he became particularly popular among Japanese medical professionals. In the early 20th century, 23 out of 26 Japanese pathology institutes were led by Aschoff's students.

Later Life and Legacy

In 1936, Aschoff retired from his scientific career. He was an avid photographer and devoted much of his time to his hobby. While he initially welcomed the rise of the National Socialists to power, it is unclear how he felt about the start of World War II, as he had previously worked hard to restore the reputation of German medicine after World War I. Aschoff passed away on June 24, 1942, in Freiburg, Germany, at the age of 76.

As a tribute to his contributions, the Aschoff-Platz square in Freiburg and a street in Cologne were named after him. The University of Freiburg also holds annual lectures in his honor, where renowned scientists present their research.