Concept

Jan Ingenhousz

Summary
Jan (or John) Ingenhousz or Ingen-Housz FRS (8 December 1730 – 7 September 1799) was a Dutch-born British physiologist, biologist and chemist. He is best known for discovering photosynthesis by showing that light is essential to the process by which green plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. He also discovered that plants, like animals, have cellular respiration. In his lifetime he was known for successfully inoculating the members of the Habsburg family in Vienna against smallpox in 1768 and subsequently being the private counsellor and personal physician to the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. He was born into the patrician Ingen Housz family in Breda in Staats-Brabant in the Dutch Republic. From the age of 16, Ingenhousz studied medicine at the University of Leuven, the Protestant Universities were not then open to Catholics like himself, where he obtained his MD in 1753. He studied for two more years at the University of Leiden, where he attended lectures by, among others, Pieter van Musschenbroek, which led Ingenhousz to have a lifelong interest in electricity. In 1755 he returned home to Breda, where he started a general medical practice. Following his father's death in July 1764, Ingenhousz intended to travel through Europe for study, starting in England where he wanted to learn the latest techniques in inoculation against smallpox. Via the physician John Pringle, who had been a family friend since the 1740s, he quickly made many valuable contacts in London, and in due time became a master inoculator. In 1767, he inoculated 700 village people in a successful effort to combat an epidemic in Hertfordshire. In 1768, Empress Maria Theresa read a letter by Pringle on the success in the fight against smallpox in England, whereas in the Austrian Empire the medical establishment vehemently opposed inoculations. She decided to have her own family inoculated first (a cousin had already died), and requested help via the English royal house. On Pringle's recommendation, Ingenhousz was selected and requested to travel to Austria.
About this result
This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.
Related publications

Loading

Related people

Loading

Related units

Loading

Related concepts

Loading

Related courses

Loading

Related lectures

Loading

Related MOOCs

Loading