wise with a strong
He was born in Petilla de Aragón
(Navarre) on May 1, 1852 and died in Madrid on October 17,
1934. Although born in Navarra, is included in this work because
his childhood was fully spent in the province of Huesca, and
by his strong rooting with the Upper Aragon.
He was a physician and histologist extremely
important in world history of medical science and scientific life
of Spain. He was linked to Aragon for his race, his education, his
character and his affection for this land, 'When an Aragonese is
decided to be patient .. you throw Germans' said himself once.
He was the son of 'Larresanos' (From Larrés village)
(Justo Ramón Cajal Casaus and Antonia) and acquired
his personality through the villages of Upper-Aragon. where his father
worked as a doctor: Larrés, Luna, Valpalmas (1856-1860) and
Ayerbe; in the latter he received the first and second education
he received in the Piarist Fathers of Jaca and in the Huesca
In his teens he tended to mischief (throwing
stones in style and accuracy; he was expert in hoaxes to teachers
etc ..), to the phenomena of nature (lightning, eclipses, forests,
...) , techniques (photography, railway, ...) and exaggerated love
of reading and painting. Although he wanted to become a painter, his
parents instilled in him the medicine. He became a doctor at the Faculty
of Medicine of Zaragoza (1869-1873). His brave nature of student,
gave way to what he called the three `hobbies': literary (and romantic
verses and science fiction stories); gymnastics (culture muscular
force) and philosophical (reading of philosophical works, to know
about God, soul, substance, etc., ...). But ... the naughty student,
was turned into investigator promise.
In 1873, enters in wich they called `Age
of Castelar ', joining the army, where he won a place second
doctor of Health and after months of bloodless persecution of Carlist
in Catalonia (1873-1874), is intended for army expedition to Cuba.
He returned battered morally and physically ill in June 1875, resettling
in Zaragoza, beginning serious preparation for access to the
chair of anatomy. In 1875 he was appointed assistant Anatomy and 87
acting assistant professor, examining in Madrid doctorate subjects
(one of them, Histology); there decided to devote himself to the histological
investigation, seduced by micrographic preparations of the Professor
Maestre de San Juán. He buys a microscope and a microtome
and installs a modest laboratory. In 1878 his first opposition fails
and suffers an outbreak of pulmonary tuberculosis, with intense hemoptysis,
which is recovered in San Juán de la Peña and Panticosa.
It is 1879 when gains by opposition the post
of director of Anatomical Museum at the Faculty of Zaragoza,
he married Silveria Fañanás and perfects his knowledge of anatomy
Another failure occurs will the oppositions
in 1880, victim of the despotism of the presiding judge. Meanwhile,
he published his first scientific papers and he is trained on photographic
In 1883, finally, reached the chair of anatomy
at the University of Valencia. Here, he will spend three years (1884-1887)
dedicated to delivering his academic work and reaching high prestige
as researcher; along with this, he is interested hypnotism, the role
of the vírgula bacillus in the genesis of cholera (epidemically struck
the peninsula in 1885 and was commissioned by the Council of Zaragoza);
and the value of the vaccine given by Ferrán.
In 1887 he moved to Barcelona as Professor
of Normal Histology and Pathology, residing until 1892, the same year
after opposition bright in Madrid occupies the vacancy (same
subject) that Maestre de San Juán leaves by his death.
The stay in Barcelona was fruitful; in his words, it was 'the
peak year, of fortune'. Indeed, in 1888 he obtaineds the microphotographs
preparations wich make evident, for the first time, the ratio of discontinuity
of the nerve cell; therefore, he achieved acclaim in 1889 for his
findings at a meeting of the German Anatomical Society..
In `Memories of my life ', she says:`for
extricating yourself from the gifts and entertainment of friends and
admirers, we must have a heart of steel, elephant skin and vulture
stomach'; these were the multiple appointments: Royal Academy
of Sciences (1895); Royal Academy of Medicine, 1897; direction of
the National Institute of Hygiene, 1900; Royal Spanish Academy, 1905;
first president of the Board for Advanced Studies, 1907; dedication
of streets and squares, statues discovery; publication of the 'Book
in honor of Mr. Santiago Ramon y Cajal ', 1922; and events
of all kinds, including the resolution of his differences with Rio-Hortega.
But the life of Cajal, continues in Madrid with his
dedication to the histological investigation and with it the school
of researchers who knew raise: P. Ramon y Cajal, Achúcarro, Tello,
Rio-Hortega, D. Sanchez Lorente Villaverde, F. de Castro, etc.,.
... 'In their hands it's and they
know it, the future of the Spanish Histology' Cajal wrote
in 1922, when he retired as professor.