Ever wondered how your brain makes you move? Well, we have that information, courtesy of Marthe Vogt. She found out an extraordinary amount of information over an extraordinarily long lifespan (100 years and 1 day, to be exact). She contributed to our current knowledge of adrenaline/epinephrine’s effects. This neurotransmitter sends you running at the sight of a bear, and helps you stay alive on cold days (vasoconstriction). She did research on other neurotransmitters like serotonin and noradrenaline
Marthe Vogt was born on September 8, 1903 in Berlin to two anatomists, Cécile and Oskar Vogt. When she was 17, she began studies in medicine and chemistry and got a degree as Doctor of Medicine. She also later earned a Ph.D in Chemistry. During her career, she did work and experiments on pharmacology (medicines’ effect on the body) and endocrinology (hormones) at the Institute of Pharmacology in Berlin.
At age 28 she rose to be the head of the chemical division at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute für Hirnforschung (brain science). She worked on pharmacology and the central nervous system.
During WWII, she and other scientists made the move to Britain, where she joined the British Pharmacological Society. She coauthored a paper on releases of acetylcholine in 1936 (having trouble pronouncing that one, but we think it’s ah-se-till-koh-leen. Maybe). She then did more research at Cambridge on physiology and got an honorary doctorate. Afterwards, she did more work on neurotransmitters and wrote another paper on acetylcholine (she likes that stuff more than a New Horizons physicist like data). She then was a visiting professor at Columbia University in 1949. During the nest 30 years, Marthe would go between Cambridge, London, and Edinburgh and finally headed back to Cambridge to head Babraham Institute’s Pharmacology Unit, retiring in 1968. She stayed there and researched there until 1990 before dying a day after her birthday in 2003.
Marthe Vogt did so many things in her life that we literally couldn’t fit all of her accomplishments into one article without boring you to death. She is one amazing scientist! Happy Birthday!!
It’s an amazing world of science out there…let’s go exploring!
Dead Scientist of the Week
See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons for photo.