Finsen , Niels Ryberg
(1860–1904) Danish physician
Finsen, the son of a leading civil servant, was born at Thorshavn on the Faeroe Islands, which are part of Denmark; he was educated in Reykjavik and at the University of Copenhagen, where he qualified as a physician in 1890. After teaching anatomy for some time Finsen founded (1895) the Institute of Phototherapy, which he directed until his early death at the age of 43.
In the 1890s, following up some earlier work suggesting that light had the ability to kill bacteria, Finsen began a systematic appraisal of its therapeutic effects. Arguing that it was light, acting slowly and weakly, rather than heat that was effective, he devised various filters and lenses to separate and concentrate the different components of sunlight. He found that it was the short ultraviolet rays, either natural or artificial, that turned out to have the greatest bactericidal power.
Finsen found phototherapy to be of most use against lupus vulgaris, a skin infection produced by the tubercle bacillus. He claimed that on exposure to ultraviolet rays the skin regained its normal color and the ulcerations began to heal. For this Finsen received the third Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1903.
It was, however, an avenue that few physicians were willing to explore. The use of ultraviolet radiation was mainly restricted to the treatment of lupus vulgaris and even this was superseded by x-rays and, more importantly, by such drugs as cortisone when they became available in the 1950s.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Finsen, Niels Ryberg — ▪ Danish physician born Dec. 15, 1860, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, Den. died Sept. 24, 1904, Copenhagen  Danish physician, founder of modern phototherapy (the treatment of disease by the influence of light), who received the 1903 Nobel Prize for… …   Universalium

  • Finsen, Niels Ryberg — ► (1860 1904) Médico danés. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1903, por su descubrimiento de la acción de la luz sobre el organismo animal, pralte. de los rayos ultravioleta …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Niels Ryberg Finsen — (* 15. Dezember 1860 in Tórshavn/Färöer; † 24. September 1904 in Kopenhagen) war ein dänischer Arzt, der 1903 den Nobelpreis für Medizin erhielt. Er ist der einzige Färinger, der je einen Nobelpreis erhielt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Niels Ryberg Finsen — Born December 15, 1860 Tórshavn, Faroe Islands Died …   Wikipedia

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  • Niels Ryberg Finsen — Timbre des Îles Féroé représentant Niels Ryberg Finsen Naissance 15 décembre 1860 Tórshavn, Îles Féroé (Danemark) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Niels Ryberg Finsen — ( 1860 † 1904), dansk læge født på Færøerne (af Islandsk slægt). Blev student i Reykjavik i 1882 og tog medicinsk embedseksamen fra Københavns universitet 1890; professor i medicin 1898. Niels Finsen studerede lysets virkning på huden. I 1893… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Niels Ryberg Finsen — (n. Thorshavn, Islas Faroe, 15 de diciembre de 1860 † Copenhague, 24 de septiembre de 1904). Médico danés. En 1882, viaja a Copenhague para estudiar medicina en su universidad, aprobando su examen final en 1890. Posteriormente sería profesor en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Medizinnobelpreis 1903: Niels Ryberg Finsen —   Der Däne erhielt den Nobelpreis für seinen Beitrag zur Behandlung von Krankheiten, insbesondere von Lupus vulgaris, mittels konzentrierter Lichtstrahlen. Damit eröffnete er der Medizin neue Wege.    Biografie   Niels Ryberg Finsen, * Tórshavn… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Finsen — Finsen, Niels Ryberg …   Enciclopedia Universal

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