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Ramón y Cajal, Santiago

Ramón y Cajal, Santiago säntyä´gō rämōn´ ē kähäl´ [key], 1852–1934, Spanish histologist, widely considered the father of neuroscience. He was a university professor at Valencia (1881–86), at Barcelona (1886–92), and at Madrid (1892–1922), where he founded the Cajal Institute. He described the terminal branchings of neurons, devised a method of staining nerve tissues, and made numerous discoveries in the structure of the nervous system. For this work he shared with Camillo Golgi the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His works include Studies of the Degeneration and Regeneration of the Nervous System (tr. 1928) and the classic Histology (tr. 1933). Regarded as some of the finest scientific illustrations ever produced, his accurate and beautiful pencil and pen and ink drawings of the neurological structure of the brain and other structures represent a rare combination of science and art, and have been the subject of exhibitions and books.

See catalogs of his work (2008, in Spanish) and by L. W. Swanson and E. Newman (2017); his autobiography (tr. 1937); biography by D. F. Cannon (1949).

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