NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Niels Ryberg Finsen (1860-1904) Danish physician. Finsen made breakthroughs in the field of phototherapy, the therapeutic use of light. Previous research had shown that light could kill bacteria. Using filtered light, Finsen discovered that intense ultraviolet rays were effective at treating lupus vulgaris, a skin infection caused by the tuberculosis bacteria. In 1896, he founded the Light Institute in Copenhagen. For his work, he received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1903.
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