Allvar Gullstrand Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Allvar Gullstrand was born on June 5, 1862, in Landskrona, Sweden. His parents were Sofia (Korsell) and Dr. Pehr Gullstrand.
Allvar Gullstrand finished his primary and secondary educations in 1880. After this, he went on to attend Uppsala University. He stayed here until 1885 before transferring to a school in Stockholm. Here, Allvar Gullstrand focused on studying medicine. His specific field of study was ophthalmology which is the study of the eye (and the disorders and diseases that can affect it). He earned his master’s degree in 1888.
After earning his degree, Allvar Gullstrand worked in the Seraphim Hospital. Later, in 1890, Allvar Gullstrand wrote and submitted his thesis paper (Contribution to the Theory of Astigmatism), which earned him his doctorate degree in the same year.
In 1891, Allvar Gullstrand began working at the Karolinska Institute. Here, he lectured on the topic of Ophthalmology. Also around this same time, Allvar Gullstrand began working for the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. In 1894, Allvar Gullstrand began working at Uppsala University as a professor of ophthalmology. While working here, he continued to do procedures and research on the topic of Ophthalmology.
In 1908, Allvar Gullstrand helped to found the Swedish Ophthalmological Society. Allvar Gullstrand remained deeply involved which this group for the rest of his career.
During the 1900’s and 1910’s, Allvar Gullstrand worked on perfecting his techniques in the ophthalmology field. In one of his techniques, he used a slit lamp instrument to do his procedures with. Allvar Gullstrand had recently invented the instrument himself. This could later go on to be used by many other ophthalmologists.
In 1911, Allvar Gullstrand invented a medical device called the “reflex-free ophthalmoscope.” This device made it easier for all sorts of eye-doctors to see into their patient's eyes. The device was so useful that it is still used today (although it may have been changed slightly over the years).
In 1914, Allvar Gullstrand was promoted to the position of Personal Professorship in Physical and Physiological Optics within Uppsala University. This position was specially made for him by the college, making him the first person to ever hold this position at Uppsala University. In this position, Allvar Gullstrand was able to commit more of his time to research. Also while in this position, he was able to write many essays.
In 1927, Allvar Gullstrand retired but was given the title of emeritus professor at Uppsala University. After his retirement, he continued to work on his research.
Awards And Accomplishments
All of Gullstrand’s awards and accomplishments are due to his achievements in the medical field. Some of his most prestigious awards are listed below.
Centenary Gold Medal (1908)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1911)
Graefe Medal (1927)
During his lifetime, Allvar Gullstrand was a member of many prestigious groups, including those in the following list: German Ophthalmological Society, Board of Directors Society, Royal Society at Uppsala (President during 1913-1914), Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the Nobel Physics Committee.
Allvar Gullstrand has honorary degrees from the followings schools: The University of Dublin, The University of Jena, and Uppsala University.
Allvar Gullstrand married Signe Breitholtz in 1885. Together, the couple had one child: Esther. Sadly, the child did not survive to adulthood.
Allvar Gullstrand died on July 28, 1930, in Stockholm, Sweden. The cause of his death was a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 68 years old when he passed away.
The Gullstrand Medal, given out by the Swedish Medical Society, was named after him. This award has been given out since 1922.