Born: 14 June 1868, Vienna, Austrian Empire (now Austria)
Died: 26 June 1943, New York, NY, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York, NY, USA
Prize motivation: "for his discovery of human blood groups"
Prize share: 1/1
When a person loses lots of blood through accident or illness, it must be replaced. When transfusions from one person to another were tried, however, the result was very often disastrous. Karl Landsteiner discovered why: when different people's blood was mixed, the blood cells sometimes clotted. He explained in 1901 that people have different types of blood cells, that is, there are different blood groups. The discovery led to blood transfusions between people with compatible blood groups.
"for their discoveries concerning liver therapy in cases of anaemia"
"for his discovery of the therapeutic value of malaria inoculation in the treatment of dementia paralytica"
"for his work on serum therapy, especially its application against diphtheria, by which he has opened a new road in the domain of medical science and thereby placed in the hands of the physician a victorious weapon against illness and deaths"