Gustav Jacob Born, Prof.

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Gustav Jacob Born, Prof.

Birthplace: Kempen
Death: Died in Breslau
Immediate Family:

Son of Dr. Marcus Born and Fanny Buttermilch/Born
Husband of Berthe Born; Margarethe Born (Kauffmann) and Bertha Born (Lipstein)
Father of Wolfgang Born; Max Jacob Born, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1954 and Kathe Königsberger (Born)
Brother of Selma Born

Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:

About Gustav Jacob Born, Prof.

Gustav Born, was the eldest and brightest of Marcus's children.

At the time of his father’s death Gustav had completed his medical studies and accepted a position as assistant at the Anatomical Institute of Breslau University. Soon he was promoted to Principal Dissector and University Lecturer. Max Born wrote about his father:

He was a handsome man with a most expressive face, framed by a beard as worn in those days; and with eyes of great kindness which could sparkle when he was excited as, for instance, when he read poetry . He loved poetry and knew much by heart, including large sections of Goethe’s Faust and Heine’s songs; and he himself wrote quite remarkably good verse.

In 1889 he succeeded Wilhelm Roux as Director of a Department of Embryology (Entwicklungsgeschichte) that was attached to the Anatomical Institute. When his scientific reputation had become well established, he was often asked for advice by his friends. Among these were men of fame such as Heidenhain and Albert Neisser, the dermatologist who discovered the gonococcus, in Breslau, and Karl Weigert and Paul Ehrlich, the inventor of chemotherapy, in Frankfurt. The latter two, both born in Silesia, used for many years to spend the night after Christmas in our house.

From Frankfurt also came the only great honour conferred on my father, the Gold Medal of the Senckenberg Institute, which he received about a year before his death.

In his short life Gustav Born’s scientific originality and productivity were extraordinary. In experimental embryology, he hybridized amphibian species and discovered new characters in the offspring. Amphibian embryos were united artificially. Born suggested some kind of chemotaxis to explain why corresponding organs tended to unite without having been in contact. Before the discovery of chromosomal sex determination,

Gustav Born discovered environmental factors, particularly nutrition, that influence the sex ratio. He contributed much knowledge of the development of the septa, ostia and valves of the mammalian heart. For this he invented the wax- plate reconstruction method named after him, which has since been used by morphologists everywhere.

An anatomist and embryologist.

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Gustav Jacob Born, Prof.'s Timeline

April 22, 1850
December 11, 1882
Age 32
Wrocław, Wrocław, Dolnośląskie, Poland
March 4, 1884
Age 33
Wrocław, Wrocław County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
October 2, 1893
Age 43
Breslau, Germany
July 6, 1900
Age 50