- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Friedrich Albert von Zenker

Born 1825
Died 1898

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German physician and pathologist, born March 13, 1825, Dresden; died June 13, 1898, on the estate Reppentin near Plau in Mecklenburg.

Biography of Friedrich Albert von Zenker

Friedrich Albert von Zenker studied in Leipzig from 1843 to 1847, and again 1848-1849. Among his teachers in Leipzig were Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795-1878), Gustav Biedermann Günther (1801-1866), Johann Ritter von Oppolzer (1808-1871), and Justus Radius (1797-1884). In between he studied in Heidelberg under Friedrich Gustav Jacob Henle (1809-1885) and Karl von Pfeufer (1806-1869). While in Leipzig, he was for a period assistant under Radius in the Leipziger Georgen-Hospital.

After receiving his doctorate at Leipzig in 1851, Zenker went to Vienna to receive education in pathology under Karl Freiherr von Rokitansky (1804-1878) and Richard Ladislaus Heschl (1824-1881). In 1851 he assumed the position of prosector in the Dresden city hospital, teaching as a Dozent 1853-1855, then as professor of general pathology and pathological anatomy at the medico-chirurgical academy of that town. He held these positions until 1863, when he took over the chair at Erlangen, holding this position with great success both as a teacher and researcher for more than 30 years.

Zenker in 1865 received the Monthyon prize, and the Bavarian Order of the Crown. Zenker retired in 1895, and died on June 13, 1898, while on a visit to Rappentin in Mecklenburg.

On January 28, 1860, Zenker discovered a trichinosis in the body of a girl who had died in the Dresden hospital. He thus first demonstrated that trichins, which since the middle of the 1830’s had been considered more or less harmless parasites, were capable of producing severe, even deadly diseases, often affecting man.

Zenker was co-editor with Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen of the Archiv für klinische Medizin from 1866 to 1897.

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