Carl Weigert

Carl Weigert 1845-1904

Carl Weigert (1845-1904) was a German pathologist

His contributions to bacterial and myelin sheath staining gained him international recognition in the field of pathology. Founder and editor of Fortschritte der Medizin, the first journal to be written and published in Frankfurt

Along with Robert Meyer (1864-1947) is eponymously affiliated with the Weigert-Meyer rule (1877) and Weigert’s Law in 1896


  • Born 19 March 1845 Münsterberg, Silesia
  • 1862 – Commenced medical studies at the Universities of Breslau and Berlin
  • Following graduation, he worked under Rudolf Virchow (1821 – 1902)
  • 1868-1870 Assistant to Wilhelm Waldeyer (1836–1921), chair of pathological anatomy in Breslau
  • 1871 Developed the staining methods to prove the existence of haemorrhagic smallpox in tissues
  • 1879 – Professor Extraordinary of Pathological Anatomy at University of Lepzig
  • 1889 Developed new myelin sheath stains, allowing novel investigation into the nervous system
  • Died 1904 Frankfurt, Germany

Medical Eponyms

Weigert-Meyer rule (1877)

When complete ureter duplication is present the ureter which emanates from the superior aspect of the kidney, inserts more inferomedially into the bladder. This is referred to as the ectopic orifice. The other ureter, emanating from the inferior aspect of the kidney, inserts into the bladder more laterally and chephaloid (orthoptic). This ureter is more in keeping with normal ureteric insertion.

Weigert’s law (1896)

The loss or destruction of tissue results in compensatory replacement and overproduction of new tissue during the process of regeneration or repair (or both), as in the formation of callus when a fractured bone heals.


Wiegert worked and studied under Julius Cohnheim, Director of Institute of Pathology, Breslau. In 1878 Cohnheim was invited to become Chair of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Leipzig, and accepted only on the condition Weigert could accompany him. Following the death of Cohnheim in 1884, many expected Weigert to succeed him. The university however, did not offer him the position, and many now speculate this was ‘largely the result of him being a Jew, and to lesser extent his lack of aggression‘. Distraught, Weigert left to take up a position in Frankfurt.

Major Publications


  • Portrait: Carl Weigert. Gallery hervorragender ärzte und naturforscher. Munich edition
  • Karl Weigert 1845-1904. La Presse médicale. 1904;92: 729-30
  • Karl Weigert 1845-1904. Le progrès médical. 1904; 3è s. XX.:422
  • Carl Weigert 1845-1904. JAMA. 1964 Sep 7;189:769-70. [PMID 14174058]
  • Wohlrab F, Henoch U. [The life and work of Carl Weigert (1845-1904) in Leipzig 1878-1885]. Zentralblatt für allgemeine Pathologie und pathologische Anatomie 1988;134(8):743-51. [PMID 3068935]
  • Sammet K. Carl Weigert (1845–1904). Journal of Neurology. 2008; 255(9): 1439–1440. [PMID 18500488]

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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