Gabriele Falloppio Biography (1523-1562)

physician, scientist

Born in Modena, Falloppio was a famous doctor and surgeon, an academic, and an author. The uterine tubes were named after him (fallopian tubes) for his work in describing them. With Andreas Vesalius and Bartolemeo Eustachio, Falloppio is considered one of the three heroes of anatomy (the science dealing with the structure of animals and plants). Falloppio first studied medicine at the Medical College of Modena. After dissecting a body in 1545, he earned theright to practice medicine in Modena as a surgeon.

Falloppio treated prominent patients from as far away as Florence and Rome. His patients included members of the Venetian authorities and Pope Julius III's brother, Baldovine del Monte. Known as one of the great surgeons of the age, he established new surgical procedures. He worked extensively in medicine and pharmacology and was an early expert on syphilis. Falloppio was appointedchair of pharmacy in Ferrara in 1548, and professor of anatomy at the University of Pisa in 1549. While in Pisa, he was wrongfully accused of practicing human vivisection. During this period, he also disproved Aristotle's statement that the bones of lions are solid and have no marrow by dissecting the bodies of lions in the Medici zoo. In 1551, he was appointed professor of anatomy and surgery at the University of Padua. In 1561, he was offered the position as Professor of Practical Medicine at the University of Bologna, but died before he could start. Falloppio was a member of the Medical College of Venice.

Many works have been attributed to Falloppio, but the only one which was proven to be authentic was Observationes anatomicae, published in 1561. This was considered an anatomy work of great originality which contributed to knowledge about bones, the muscles, the vascular system, the kidneys, and thephysiological uses of various features.

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