Michael Anton Biermer

Born 1827-10-18
Died 1892-10-15

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German physician, born October 18, 1827, Bamberg; died October 15, 1892, Maison de santé in Schönberg near Berlin.

Biography of Michael Anton Biermer

Michael Anton Biermer completed his medical studies in Würzburg, a student of Rudolf Virchow and Karl Friedrich von Marcus (1802-1862), and received his doctorate on February 12, 1851. He devoted himself entirely to internal medicine and was active in this discipline as Privatdozent in Würzburg from 1855.

Biermer was called to the chair in Bern on May 1, 1861, to Zurich in the Easter of 1867, and to Breslau in 1874. He worked in Breslau until illness in 1891 forced him to leave office, becoming emeritus. He died on June 1892 in the Maison de santé in Schöneberg near Berlin.

While a professor of medicine in Zurich, Biermer in 1871 gave a remarkable description of pernicious anaemia, and was the first to observe retinal haemorrhages. Although the majority and perhaps all of the patients he described did not have true pernicious anaemia, his paper was widely editorialised and led to a wide search for the condition and it became the popular term for the common form of B12 deficiency anaemia. It was Biermer who coined the term «progressive pernicious anaemia».

In the history of medicine his name is attached to a series of discoveries in the field of clinical microscopy.

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