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Felix Hoppe-Seyler

Felix Hoppe-Seyler
Born December 26, 1825
Freyburg an der Unstrut in the Province of Saxony
Died August 10, 1895
Wasserburg am Bodensee
Nationality German
Fields physiology
chemistry
Institutions Halle
Leipzig

Ernst Felix Immanuel Hoppe-Seyler (December 26, 1825 ÔÇô August 10, 1895) was a German physiologist and chemist.

Hoppe-Seyler was born in Freyburg an der Unstrut in the Province of Saxony. He originally trained to be a physician in Halle and Leipzig, and received his medical doctorate from Berlin in 1851. Afterwards, he was an assistant to Rudolf Virchow at the Pathological Institute in Berlin. Hoppe-Seyler preferred scientific research to medicine, and later held positions in anatomy, applied chemistry, and physiological chemistry in Greifswald, T├╝bingen and Strasbourg. One of his well-known students was Friedrich Miescher (1844-1895).

His numerous investigations include studies of blood, hemoglobin, pus, bile, milk, and urine. Hoppe-Seyler was the first scientist to describe the optical absorption spectrum of the red blood pigment and its two distinctive absorption bands. He also recognized the binding of oxygen to erythrocytes as a function of hemoglobin, which in turn creates the compound oxyhemoglobin. Hoppe-Seyler was able to obtain hemoglobin in crystalline form, and confirmed that it contained iron.

Hoppe-Seyler also performed studies of chlorophyll, and was able to isolate several different proteins (which he called proteids). He was also the first to purify lecithin and establish its composition. He was one of the founders of biochemistry, physiological chemistry and molecular biology, and his work led to advances in organic chemistry by his students and by immunologist Paul Ehrlich. In 1877, he created the magazine Physiological Chemistry. He died in Wasserburg am Bodensee in the Kingdom of Bavaria.

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