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Johannes Holtfreter

AKA Johannes Friedrich Karl Holtfreter

Born: 9-Jan-1901
Birthplace: Richtenberg, Germany
Died: 13-Nov-1992
Location of death: Rochester, NY
Cause of death: Pneumonia

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Zoologist, Biologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Chemotaxis

Embryologist Johannes Holtfreter was the first scientist to propose and explain chemotaxis (movement by a cell or organism in reaction to a chemical stimulus) and the inventor of Holtfreter's solution (a salty mixture in which embryos and clumps of embryonic cells can survive, used for experiments and observation). He showed that dead and partially extracted embryonic material was strongly inductive, and could elicit neural development. His work changed the scientific understanding of the embryo, from a supra-cellular organismal entity to the modern view of the embryo as a complicated matrix of developing and interacting cells.

Wife: Hiroko Ban-Holtfreter (embryologist, m. 1959, no children)

    High School: Stralsund Gymnasium, Stralsund, Germany (1917)
    University: University of Rostock (attended)
    University: University of Leipzig (attended)
    University: BS Natural Sciences, University of Freiburg (1921)
    University: PhD Natural Sciences, University of Freiburg (1924)
    Scholar: Zoology, Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute of Berlin (1928-34)
    Teacher: Zoology, University of Munich (1934-39)
    Teacher: Zoology, Cambridge University (1939-40)
    Teacher: Zoology, McGill University (1942-46)
    Teacher: Zoology, University of Rochester (1946-48)
    Professor: Zoology, University of Rochester (1948-69)

    American Philosophical Society
    American Society of Zoologists
    National Academy of Sciences 1955
    National Institutes of Health
    National Science Foundation
    Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1942)
    Fulbright
    Guggenheim Fellowship (1944)
    Naturalized US Citizen
    German Ancestry


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