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Walter R Hess (1881-1973), Swiss physiologist and Nobel laureate. After studying medicine at the University of Zurich Hess practised as an ophthalmologist. However, in 1912 he left his successful practice to study physiology at the University of Bonn, Germany. Between 1917-1951 Hess was director of the Physiology Institute at the University of Zurich, where he carried out experiments on cats and dogs to discover the areas of the brain that controlled automatic functions such as respiration. It was for the discovery that these functions are controlled by the midbrain and medulla oblongata that he received the 1949 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine with Egas Moniz.
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