Christiaan Eijkman. First bacteriologist at Utrecht University, Nobel laureate for his work on vitamins.


One century ago, Christiaan Eijkman was appointed Professor of Bacteriology at the Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Despite his appointment to teach bacteriology, Christiaan Eijkman made his main contribution to medical science not in bacteriology but in nutrition. He discovered that Beri-Beri was not an infection but a nutritient deficiency (later called vitamin-deficiency) and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1929 for these observations. These landmark studies were made in the former Dutch East Indies. Interestingly, the results of his studies were presented in the Dutch language, in the medical journal of the Dutch East Indies. As a professor of Bacteriology, his work was the beginning of an important school in biochemistry in The Netherlands.


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