Santiago Ramon y Cajal, histologist

Santiago Ramon y Cajal, histologist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934), Spanish histologist. Ramon y Cajal was apprenticed to a barber and a shoemaker before taking up medicine. From 1885 he became interested in the microscopic structure of the brain. By using and improving Camillo Golgi's recently-invented staining methods, Ramon y Cajal studied the brain, spinal cord and retina. He showed the great complexity of the system and argued that the cells in the nervous system were discrete, having no physical continuity between them. He also studied the degeneration and regeneration of nerves. In 1906, he shared the Nobel Prize for medicine with Golgi. Photograph taken circa 1906.

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