Niels Ryberg Finsen

About Niels Ryberg Finsen

Who is it?: Physician
Birth Day: December 15, 1860
Birth Place: Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, Danish
Alma mater: University of Copenhagen
Known for: Phototherapy
Awards: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1903)

Niels Ryberg Finsen

Niels Ryberg Finsen was born on December 15, 1860 in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, Danish, is Physician. Niels Ryberg Finsen was an Icelandic Faroese-Danish physician and scientist famous for his invention of modern phototherapy. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his contribution to the treatment of skin diseases like lupus vulgaris, with concentrated light radiation. Finsen found that if smallpox patients are exposed to the red light that is formed by excluding the violet end of the spectrum, then the subsequent pockmarks of small pox do not happen. Finsen was aware that the sunlight destroys bacteria and so he came up with a succesful UV treatment for skin tuberculosis. The 21st century has developed newer forms of treatment like drug therapy and radiation but the discovery of phototherapy remains a foundation stone for radiation therapy in bacteriological research. From an early age, Finsen was suffering from Pick’s disease that thickens the connective tissue of the membranes of liver, hear and spleen. Due to his illness, he was confined in a wheelchair and could not attend the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. He tried to thwart the symptoms of his illness in different ways, like partaking a diet poor in salt during the last years of his life. In spite of his poor health, he was a mentally agile man who did not let his sufferings become a hindrance to his scientific research.
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Does Niels Ryberg Finsen Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Niels Ryberg Finsen has been died on 24 September 1904(1904-09-24) (aged 43)\nCopenhagen, Denmark.

🎂 Niels Ryberg Finsen - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Niels Ryberg Finsen die, Niels Ryberg Finsen was 43 years old.

Popular As Niels Ryberg Finsen
Occupation Scientists
Age 43 years old
Zodiac Sign Capricorn
Born December 15, 1860 (Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, Danish)
Birthday December 15
Town/City Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, Danish
Nationality Danish

🌙 Zodiac

Niels Ryberg Finsen’s zodiac sign is Capricorn. According to astrologers, Capricorn is a sign that represents time and responsibility, and its representatives are traditional and often very serious by nature. These individuals possess an inner state of independence that enables significant progress both in their personal and professional lives. They are masters of self-control and have the ability to lead the way, make solid and realistic plans, and manage many people who work for them at any time. They will learn from their mistakes and get to the top based solely on their experience and expertise.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Niels Ryberg Finsen was born in the Year of the Monkey. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Monkey thrive on having fun. They’re energetic, upbeat, and good at listening but lack self-control. They like being active and stimulated and enjoy pleasing self before pleasing others. They’re heart-breakers, not good at long-term relationships, morals are weak. Compatible with Rat or Dragon.

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The family moved to Tórshavn from Iceland in 1858 when his father was given the position of Landfoged. When Niels was four years old his mother died, and his father married her cousin Birgitte Kirstine Formann, with whom he had six children. In 1871 his father was made Amtmand of the Faroe Islands. His father was a member of the Faroese parliament for 12 years, and his older brother Olaf similarly became a member of parliament for 5 years as well as the first mayor of the capital, Tórshavn.


Finsen got his early education in Tórshavn, but in 1874 was sent to the Danish boarding school Herlufsholm, where his older brother Olaf was also a student. Unlike Olaf, Niels had a difficult stay at Herlufsholm, culminating with a statement from the principal which claimed Niels was "a boy of good heart but low skills and energy". As a Consequence of his low grades and difficulties with the Danish language, he was sent to Iceland in 1876 to enroll in his father's old school, Lærði skólinn, in Reykjavík. By the time he graduated he was 21 years old and finished 11th out of 15th students.


In 1882, Finsen moved to Copenhagen to study Medicine at the University of Copenhagen, from which he graduated in 1890. Because he had studied in Iceland before moving to Copenhagen to study, he enjoyed privileged admission to Regensen, which is the most prestigious college dormitory in Denmark. Priotisation of Icelandic and Faroese individuals in the admission process was official Danish government policy that had been put in place in order to integrate the educated elites of its colonies with the university population in Copenhagen. Following graduation, he became a prosector of anatomy at the university. After three years, he quit the post to devote himself fully to his scientific studies. In 1898 Finsen was given a professorship and in 1899 he became a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog.


Finsen married Ingeborg Balslev (1868–1963) on December 29, 1892.


The Finsen Institute (da) was founded in 1896, with Finsen serving as its first Director. It was later merged into Copenhagen University Hospital and currently serves as a cancer research laboratory that specializes in proteolysis.


Finsen won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1903 for his work on phototherapy. He was the first Scandinavian to win the prize and is the only Faroese Nobel Laureate to date.


Finsen's health began to fail in the mid-1880s. He had symptoms of heart trouble and suffered from ascites and general weakness. The sickness disabled his body but not his mind, and he continued to work from his wheelchair. He died in Copenhagen on September 24, 1904. Accounts of his funeral can be found at the National Library of Medicine.


A large memorial to Finsen designed by Rudolph Tegner was installed next to Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen in 1909. It shows a standing naked man flanked by two kneeling naked women reaching up to the sky. The sculpture is entitled Mod lyset (Towards the Light), and symbolised Finsen's principal scientific theory that sunlight can have healing properties. It is situated on the corner of Blegdamsvej and Nørre Allé.


Niels Finsen was born in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, as the second-oldest of four children. His parents were Hannes Finsen (da), who belonged to an Icelandic family with traditions reaching back to the 10th century, and Johanne Fröman, who was born and raised in Iceland.


Finsen suffered from Niemann–Pick disease, which inspired him to sunbathe and investigate the effects of light on living things. As a result, Finsen is best known for his theory of phototherapy, in which certain wavelengths of light can have beneficial medical effects.. His most notable writings were Finsen Om Lysets Indvirkninger paa Huden ("On the effects of light on the skin"), published in 1893 and Om Anvendelse i Medicinen af koncentrerede kemiske Lysstraaler ("The use of concentrated chemical light rays in medicine"), published in 1896. The papers were rapidly translated and published in both German and French. In his late work he researched the effects of sodium chloride, observing the results of a low sodium diet, which he published in 1904 as En Ophobning af Salt i Organismen ("An accumulation of salt in the organism").

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