Dr. Theodor Schwann, a German physiologist, was born in Neuss in Rhenish, Prussia December 1810. He began his studies at the Jesuits College in Cologne and afterwards at Bonn. He later received a medical degree in Berlin.
In 1836, while investigating digestive processes, he isolated a substance responsible for digestion and named it pepsin, making it the first enzyme prepared from animal tissue. In 1838, Schwann became familiar with Matthias Schleiden's microscopic research on plants. While collaborating with Schlieden, Schwann verified the existence of cells and he traced the development of many adult tissues from early embryo stages. This research and the cell theory which followed were summarized in Microscopical Researches on the Similarity in the Structure and the Growth of Animals and Plants.
Later at Dr. Johannes Müller's suggestion, Schwann also began research on muscle contraction and identified the delicate sheath of cells surrounding peripheral nerve fibers, which are now named Schwann Cells in his honor.
References: Young, J. Z. "The Cell of Schwann." Journal of anatomy 94.Pt 3 (1960): 446.
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