Stilling, Benedict

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STILLING, BENEDICT (1810–1879), German pioneer in surgery and anatomy. Stilling, who was born in Kirchlain, Hesse, studied at Marburg, and in 1833 was appointed district surgeon in Cassel, where from 1840 he concentrated on his private practice. He was the first German surgeon to perform ovariotomy by the extraperitoneal method. However, this method did not immediately attract the attention of his colleagues and was "rediscovered" ten years later by the British surgeon Doffin. Stilling was the first to transplant a section of the cornea from the eye of one rabbit to that of another, and preserve the transparency. He coined the term "vasomotoric nerves" and was the first to prove the vasomotor function of the sympathetic nervous system. Stilling also studied the anatomy and physiology of the central nervous system and wrote numerous books on various aspects of the structure of the spinal cord. He introduced the sliding microtome and serial section into microscopic technique. His son jacob benedict stilling (1842–1915) was born in Cassel. In 1884 he was appointed professor of ophthalmology at the University of Strasbourg. He first described pseudo-isochromatic tables and made significant contributions to the study of color sense, color blindness, and perimetry. His numerous publications deal mainly with the subjects of color sense and myopia.


S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 148–9, 516; Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte, 5 (1934).

[Suessmann Muntner]