21 January: Tribute to Camillo Golgi

OV Digital Desk
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Camillo Golgi

Camillo Golgi (7 July 1843 – 21 January 1926) was an Italian physician and cytologist. He received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1906.

Life and Career

Camillo Golgi was born on 7 July 1843, in Corteno, Italy. He graduated from the University of Pavia in 1865 with a medical degree.

After graduating, he did research at the Hospital of St. Matteo in Pavia. His research was mostly on the nervous system during this time.

He quit academic research in 1872 and became a chief medical officer at the Chronically Ill Hospital in Abbiategrasso. Golgi started his experiments by staining nervous tissue with silver mostly in a small kitchen lab.

In 1873, he published a note describing the elements of nervous tissue. He published a note titled ‘On the structure of gray matter in the brain’ in the ‘Gazzetta Medica Italiana’.

Golgi published the first drawings of neural structures in an article about olfactory bulbs in 1875.

He discovered the tendinous sensory corpuscles in 1878, which he called the Golgi tendon organs.

In 1876, he joined Pavia University as a professor. He was appointed chair of general Pathology at Pavia University in 1881.

In 1886 and 1892, Golgi made important contributions to the study of Malaria by explaining two kinds of intermittent malarial fever caused by different parasites called Plasmodium, and fevers happen when the parasites release their spores.

He discovered the Golgi apparatus in 1897, which he named after him the Golgi apparatus.

He died on 21 January 1926, in Pavia, Italy.


In 1906, he won the Nobel Prize for Physiology jointly with Santiago Ramón y Cajal for their studies on the structure of the nervous system.

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