Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Born: 27 June 1869, Stuttgart, Württemberg (now Germany)
Died: 12 September 1941, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Freiburg im Breisgau, Breisgau, Germany
Prize motivation: "for his discovery of the organizer effect in embryonic development."
Prize share: 1/1
From the beginning an organism evolves from one cell, which divides and becomes new cells that in turn divide. They form an embryo - a group of cells with different parts, out of which the brain, mouth, skeleton, intestine and other parts are formed. Around 1920 Hans Spemann succeeded in using fine pipettes or loops of children's hair to move around different parts of a frog embryo. He demonstrated that certain groups of cells adapt themselves to their surroundings while others, such as the bilaterian mouth, have an organizing effect on their surroundings.