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Santiago Ramón y Cajal: The Cajal Institute and the Spanish Histological School

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Santiago Ramón y Cajal was a self‐taught researcher. He almost always worked alone, usually in the solitude of his private laboratory installed at his home. He was also a university professor and therefore taught histology and pathology to many students. But because research laboratories were scarce and poorly equipped, he preferred to organize courses and tutor at home as well. For this reason, Cajal left a faint trace of disciples in the three academic chairs that he came to occupy. It may be argued that Cajal formed the histological school when the Spanish government decided to support his investigations and created a scientific laboratory for him, with funding to cover the cost of journals, instruments, materials, personnel, and so forth. This support occurred in the year 1902, after Cajal received the Moscow Prize. Some of his former students accompanied Cajal to the new laboratory. Upon receipt of new awards, including the Gold Medal of von Helmholtz (1905) and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1906), Cajal's popularity increased and a large number of students wanted to learn about the laboratory and work with the great Cajal. This review tells this history. But we realize that this is not an easy task because to be fair to all the people that formed the Spanish Histological School, we would need to write a book. This is not practical. Instead, selection of contributors to the formation of the Spanish Histological School is provided. At the same time, some brushstrokes of the story extend to and include the Cajal Institute, which ran in parallel with the Spanish Histological School. Anat Rec, 297:1785–1802, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Keywords: Cajal; histological; pathology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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