, Volume 455, Issue 3, pp 301-305
Date: 18 Aug 2009

Hermann Lebert (1813–1878): a pioneer of diagnostic pathology


Hermann Lebert (1813–1879) was a pioneer of diagnostic pathology and medical iconography. He was born in Breslau, then Prussia, and died in Nice (France). He lived in Switzerland as a general physician, in France as a pathologist, and eventually became the chairman for internal medicine in Zurich and Breslau, respectively. The significance of Hermann Lebert for medical posterity has three aspects: firstly, scientific linking of the French (Parisian) school and its distinctive clinical/practical orientation to the later clinical/pathological German school of Johann Lukas Schönlein, Johannes Müller, and Rudolf Virchow; secondly, his pioneering of the diagnostic use of the microscope in pathological anatomy; and finally, his remarkable book, Traité d’anatomie pathologique générale et spéciale, which has almost fallen into oblivion, being unknown to most contemporary workers.