Emil von Behring
"I was guided by the desire to direct my life's work to an important and honourable goal. That is the reason why, right from the outset, I chose to study those diseases that affected mankind and could not yet be fought with other medicaments."
Emil von Behring was a pioneer in the field of immunology. In 1889, while working at the Institute of Hygiene in Berlin, Behring discovered that it was possible to neutralise bacterial toxins using antitoxins.
His ground-breaking work resulted in the development of blood serums for vaccinations against diphtheria and tetanus and in modern methods of immunisation that have largely eradicated diphtheria worldwide.
In recognition of his production of diphtheria serum therapy, Behring was the first recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1901.
UK/CORP/15-0012a Date of preparation: July 2015