Santiago Ramon y Cajal

May 1, 1852 - October 17, 1934


Election Year: 1920
Membership Type: Foreign Associate

Santiago Ramon y Cajal was a Spanish histologist and is considered to be the “father of neuroscience.” He established that nerve cells were individual components of the nervous structure. He developed a gold stain to study the detailed structure of nervous tissues. The gold stain differentiated cell types and allowed Ramon y Cajal to observe the paths of neurons in large tissue samples. He deduced that each individual neuron was held together by “contact zones” and hypothesized that these paths of cells were polarized. He also created hundreds of illustrations outlining the microscopic structure of brain cells. In 1906 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal "in recognition of their work on the structure of the nervous system."

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