Prof. Kohn (1867–1959) was the head of the Institute of Histology at the Medical Faculty of German
University in Prague for 26 years. In 2007 we commemorated his 140th birthday, and 2009 we will
remember the 50th anniversary of his death. He entered the history of medicine by discovery of nature
and origin of parathyroid glands and by pioneer research into chromaffin cells and sympathetic
paraganglia. Kohn’s papers on the pituitary, interstitial cells of testes, and ovaries are also related to
endocrinology. All his studies are based on descriptive and comparative histological and embryological
observations. Kohn was twice the dean of German Medical Faculty, and a member or honorary member
of many important scientific societies. He was repeatedly nominated for Nobel Prize for physiology and
medicine. For his Jewish origin he was expelled from Deutsche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften und
Künste für die Tschechoslowakische Republik in 1939 and transported to Terezin ghetto in 1943. After
the war he lived in Prague. On the occasion of his 90th birthday he was elected honorary president of
Anatomische Gesellschaft and awarded by the Czechoslovak Order of Labour. Alfred Kohn died in 1959.
He was one of the outstanding personalities that Prague gave to the world of science.
Alfred Kohn, parathyroid gland, paraganglia, chromaffine cells.