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Oswald Schmiedeberg

Oswald Schmiedeberg (October 10, 1838 – July 12, 1921) was a Baltic German pharmacologist.

Schmiedeberg was born at Gut Laidsen in the Imperial Russian province of Courland. In 1866 he earned his medical doctorate from the University of Dorpat with a thesis concerning the measurement of chloroform in blood. Afterwards he was an assistant to Rudolf Buchheim (1820–1879) at Dorpat (Tartu). In 1872 he became a professor of pharmacology at the University of Strasbourg, where he remained for the next 46 years.

Schmiedeberg is often recognized as the "father of modern pharmacology".[1] His work primarily dealt with finding the correlation between the chemical structure of substances and their effectiveness as narcotics. He discovered that glucuronic acid was a component of cartilage and occurred as a disaccharide of chondroitin sulfate. He also studied the composition of hyaluronic acid and explored its relationship to collagen, amyloid and chondroitin sulfate. In 1869 he demonstrated that muscarine had a similar effect on the heart as electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve. He also demonstrated the hypnotic properties of urethane.

Schmiedeberg was a major factor in the success of the German pharmaceutical industry prior to World War II. He published over 200 scientific books and articles, including the influentual Archiv für experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie with pathologists Bernhard Naunyn (1839–1925) and Edwin Klebs (1834–1913). He died in Baden-Baden.


  1. ^ Lightman, Alan P. (2005). The discoveries: great breakthroughs in twentieth-century science, including the original papers. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, p. 178. ISBN 0676977898. 
  • A brief history of pharmacology. Modern Drug Discovery, American Chemical Society (2001). Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oswald_Schmiedeberg". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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