Jan Evangelista Purkinje

Jan Evangelista Purkyně (1787 - 1869)

Jan Evangelista Purkyně (1787-1869) was a Czech anatomist and experimental physiologist.

  • Born 18 December 1787 in Libochovice, Bohemia
  • Died 28 July 1869, Prague

Medical Eponyms

Anatomical eponyms

  • Purkinje cell layer: Stratum purkinjense; Intermediate discharge layer of the cerebellar cortex
  • Purkinje fibres: Rami subendocardialis (fasciculi atrioventricularis); Subendocardial branches

In 1845, Purkinje first described a net of grey, flat, and gelatinous fibers under the serous membrane of the inner ventricular wall of the sheep heart. He also found similar fibers in the heart of the cow, the pig, and the horse, but not in human, dog, rabbit, or hare hearts. Purkinje initially considered them something like cartilaginous tissue. However, later it became more probable to him that the fibers had something to do with a special motor apparatus.

Major Publications

  • Names: Jan, Johann; Evangelist, Evangelista; Purkyně, Purkinje, Purkyne


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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