Viktor Hamburger

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Viktor Hamburger
Born (1900-07-09)July 9, 1900
Landeshut, Silesia
Died June 12, 2001(2001-06-12) (aged 100)
St. Louis, Missouri
Nationality German
Fields Embryology
Institutions Washington University in St. Louis
Alma mater University of Freiburg
Doctoral advisor Hans Spemann
Known for Nerve growth factor

Viktor Hamburger (July 9, 1900 – June 12, 2001)[1] was a German professor and embryologist. In 1951 he co-authored the Hamburger-Hamilton stages. Hamburger lectured, among others, Nobel Prize-winning neurologist Rita Levi-Montalcini,[2] who identified nerve growth factor along with Hamburger when they collaborated. Hamburger began to work at Washington University in St. Louis in 1935; he retired from his professor position in 1969 and continued researching until the 1980s.[3]

Early life

Hamburger was born on (1900-07-09)July 9, 1900 in Landeshut, Silesia, Germany to Max Hamburger and Else Gradenwitz.[4]


In the 1960s, Hamburger did embryological work that established that chick movements in embryo were spontaneous patterns, a finding that contradicted contemporary assertions of behavioral psychologists.[3][5]

Hamburger later revisited nerve growth factor, demonstrating that it was required for the maintenance of neural cells.[6]

Selected Awards


  1. Noden, Drew M. "Viktor Hamburger (1900-2001)". Society for Developmental Biology. Retrieved 2008-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Cowan, W. M. (2001). "Viktor Hamburger Andrita Levi-Montalcini: The Path to the Discovery of Nerve Growth Factor". Annual Review of Neuroscience. 24: 551–600. doi:10.1146/annurev.neuro.24.1.551. PMID 11283321.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Freeman, Karen (2001-06-14). "Viktor Hamburger, 100, Dies; Embryologist Revealed Architecture of Nervous System". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2013-05-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Hamburger, Viktor (1996). "Viktor Hamburger". In Squire, Larry R. (ed.). The history of neuroscience in autobiography. Washington DC: Society for Neuroscience. p. 223. ISBN 0-916110-51-6. Retrieved 2013-08-05.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Hamburger, V.; Wenger, E.; Oppenheim, R. (1966). "Motility in the chick embryo in the absence of sensory input". Journal of Experimental Zoology. 162 (2): 133. doi:10.1002/jez.1401620202.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Navis, Adam R. (2012-05-08). "Viktor Hamburger". Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Tempe, Arizona: Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, Center for Biology and Society. Retrieved 2013-05-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hamburger, Viktor (1996). "Viktor Hamburger". In Squire, Larry R. (ed.). The history of neuroscience in autobiography. Washington DC: Society for Neuroscience. pp. 222‒250. ISBN 0-916110-51-6. Retrieved 2013-05-26.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links