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Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915): A Century in Eternity

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Published on Nov 23, 2015

Paul Ehrlich (March 14th 1854 – August 20th 1915): A Century in Eternity

Seldom is it in science that we are met with an individual whose sole contributions so vastly broaden the horizon of human understanding. Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915), an outstanding German physician and researcher of the late 19th century, was one such personality. His contributions to biology and medicine were so revolutionary, that without them, the modern profiles of these life sciences would be all but unrecognisable. From ‘antibody’ to ‘receptor’, ‘complement’ to ‘chemotherapy’, all are concepts and terms that were, alongside many others, originally introduced by Ehrlich. For his immunological ‘side-chain theory’, Ehrlich was awarded one half of the 1908 Nobel Prize in Medicine, and within less than 2 years, he announced his discovery of the world's first synthetic antimicrobial agent, Salvarsan – the incarnation of his ‘magic bullet’ concept and the preceptor of all modern targeted drug therapies. Collectively, these more widely known achievements have rendered Ehrlich's legacy perennial.

100 years after his death, the scientific and clinical import of Ehrlich’s works cannot be easily overlooked. His influence on medical and biological research pervades us to this very day, and the prevailing humanitarian sentiment that followed his passing in August of 1915, continues to be echoed in contemporary recollections of his life. Official centennial commemorations are due to be held by the Paul-Ehrlich institute in Frankfurt-am-Main:

http://www.pei.de/EN/meetings/paul-eh...

Our little video tribute to Ehrlich is essentially a preamble to these more comprehensive commemorative proceedings, and hopes to stimulate viewers to appreciate and share the distinguished legacy of the great clinical scientist in this centenary year of his passing. We give special thanks to Dr. Susanne Stocker of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, who has been assisting with sharing our contributions to the Ehrlich centenary in Germany.

This video was made possible through a careful and detailed reading of one of Ehrlich’s official biographies (Marqaurdt 1949) and several other historical papers. Selected multimedia items were retrieved from the following sources:

- Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charite, Photo Archive - http://www.bmm-charite.de/presse/bild...
- Centre for Jewish History, Digital Collection - http://access.cjh.org
- Georg-Speyer House Institute for Tumour Biology and Experimental Therapy - http://www.georg-speyer-haus.de
- Getty Images (Australia) - http://www.gettyimages.com.au
- Google images - http://www.google.com/imghp
- Internet Archive - http://archive.org/index.php
- Leo Baeck Institute, Pinkus Family Collection - http://findingaids.cjh.org/?pID=475762
- Marqaurdt, M, 1949. Paul Ehrlich. 1st ed. London: William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd.
- Paul-Ehrlich-Institute - http://www.pei.de/EN/home/node.html
- The Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions - http://www.medicalarchives.jhmi.edu
- Wellcome Images - http://wellcomeimages.org
- WNYC New York Public Radio - http://www.wnyc.org

The sound track is titled ‘If Elephants Could Fly’ by Marcus Warner, a talented young English musical artist from Hertfordshire. To hear more of his good work please visit his website: http://marcuswarnermusic.com/

We gratefully acknowledge anyone else who directly or indirectly contributed to the consummation of this project and encourage our viewers to share and embed the video freely for the purposes of education and wider distribution.

PS: This video was originally uploaded on the 22nd of November 2015. It was re-uploaded with minor corrections on the 24th.

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    • If Elephants Could Fly-6556
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    • AdRev for Rights Holder; AdRev Publishing, and 2 Music Rights Societies

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