Ernst Albert Scharrer

Ernst Albert Scharrer

GENERAL .4SD COMP.4R.4TIVE ESWCRISO1,OC.Y 5, 584-586 ( 1965) (h3I’iTARIW Ernst Born Died: Albert : Scharrer 1 August 29 April The sudden...

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5, 584-586

( 1965)








1 August 29 April

The sudden recent, loss of Professor Ernst, Scharrer is deeply felt by the scientific community of which he was such an essential part. His many friends and coworkers in neuroendocrinology and comparative endocrinology are deprived of the valued counsel and warm encouragement so many of them had come to depend upon. Ernst Scharrer’s enthusiasm for biological science. a rare blend of youthful vigor and mature judgment, not only influenced the research intere& of his peers and juniors, but also it oriented the expression of these inter&s in the form of profcesionnl organizations, symposia, and journals. Wit,11 his wife am1 colleague, Berta, Ernst Scharrer cultivated the infant field of ncurosecretion into the cxubcrant, aggrcssivc! and at times, overly exprcesivc aclolescencc it now enjoys. Because so much of the rcsearch in comparative endocrinology over the past, 15 yearn has been rcurarch in ncurosecretion, it bcconies unnecessary to tlefine t,he influence of Ernst Scharrrr as a comparative endocrinologist. We owe much to Scharrer’s good sense for inspiring the critical attitudes now being displayed by students of ncurosecrction in intcrprcting the dramatic pictures revealed by light microscopy and electron microscopy. Scharrer’s first paper in 1928, in which he referred to possible hypothalamic neurosecretion in the “geblendete Elritze,” would pcrmit one to call him the fat,her of tn’uro584

1905 i%%

secretion, were it not that he chose to be the principal rediscoverer and propagator of Speidel’s antecedent (1913) contribution. The current prominence enjoyed by the concept and phenomenon of neurosecretion in biological literature makes it difficult to recall that only a few years ago Ernst Scharrer’s voice was almost alone in reminding us t.hat some neurons secrete hormones in a manner no different from nonnervous rndocrine tissue. Despite the need for roWant, explication of the neurosecretion doctrine for disbelievers, Scharrer’s expositions were marked by $weet reason, as well as flexibility and expertise in the integration of new data. Few exponents of a doctrine have been less doctrinaire. The important voIume on Neli,~oer~clo~i~lologU ln~bliehctl in 1963 is a notable group of essays 1~ Ernst and Bcrta Hcharrcr. His contribution to the IV International Symposium on Comparative Endocrinology at Paris in 1964 clearly demonstrates how far the ncurohecretion concept has developed in the hands of one of its originators. As a young Ph.D., Scharrer began his academic career 3s an assistant in Zoology at Municlr. This was followed by a Sterling Fellowship at Yale University, and a year in Vienna. After returning to Munich and a period of research in neuropathology, Scharrer was awarded his XI. D. in 1933. Several vcsarr after taking charge of the Neurological Tnstitutc at Frankfurt-am-



Main, Scharrer left Germany with his wife in protest against and displeasure with the Kational Socialist regime. In the United States he was associated successively with the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Institute, Western Reserve t7niversity, and the University of Colorado. In 1955, he became the first, Professor of Anatomy and Chairman of the Dcpartmcnt at tllc -Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Kew ‘Stork, a post he held until his tragic death by drowning at Sarasota, Florida, where he and his wife were relaxing after the meetings of the .Imerican A3+ociation of Anatomiste. Ernst Scharrer’s contributions to biological science were made at many levels and in many forms. His neurological studies on vertebrates and on invert,ebrates were of much broader scope than even the broad area represented by ncurosecretion. His




$6 June

Dr. Charles W. Creaser, who retired last year from his post at Wayne State University, Detroit, died Saturday, June 26, 1965 at the age of 67. Long prominent in scientific circles, and an inspiring teacher, Professor Creaser was recognized as an authority on the biology of fishes and on iodine utilization of the thyroid gland. He gave early impetus to development of the comparative aspects of endocrinology in the United States and pioneered in the use of radioactive isotopes in research with fish and other cold-blooded vertebrates. Creaser was among the first to recognize that molecular variation in vertebrate hypophysial tropic hormones could be great enough to be revealed by physio-

general writings, such as the fine essay on the concept of analogy (1956) and the last paragraphs he was to write on scientific terminology in the Hibliog~aphia Neuroendoc~inologica-issued by his own department-arc thoroughly delightful and profoundly instructive. His part.icipation in and in international national meetings meetings, in the comparative endocrinology qmpoxia at Cold Spring Harbor and at Paris, and in all three international conferences on ncurosecretion (Lund, Naples, Bristol )( was always meaningful. The Editors and Board of General and C’omparative Endoc~-inology extend to their fellow editor, Professor Berta Scharrer, who continuer as acting chairman of t,he department her husband had built., their profound and heartfelt sympathy. HOWARD




logical tests. His doctoral thesis was concerned with the use of annular scale marks for deciphering events in t,lic life cycles of fishes. This work has served as the basis for the numerous scale studies that followed. His studies of Michigan st,reams led to basic information in plant,ing of fish. He was among the first, to predict t,he invasion of the sea lamprey into t,he Great, Lakes and to forecast its disastrous results. A frequent contributor of comparative enclocrinological articles, he also collaborated in t,lie writing of several zoological t’extbooks. Professor Creaser received three academic degrees from the University of Michigan and served as an instructor in