Clemens von Pirquet (1874-1929)
Clemens von Pirquet was born into an Austrian aristocratic family. He studied medicine successively in Vienna, Königsberg (today Kaliningrad, Russia), and Graz. During his studies, he developed a strong interest in childhood medicine.
In 1902, he began his training in pediatrics in Vienna with another former university classmate, Bela Schick. Their common work allowed them to recognize adverse reactions to antitoxins for which they coined the term allergie. Clemens von Pirquet provided major contributions to the speciality, and was continuously working on both aspects, laboratory research and patient care.
In 1908, he was appointed as the first Professor of the newly created Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. One year later, he decided to return to Europe, first to Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland) and then to Vienna. In 1929, Clemens von Pirquet and his wife decided to dye by ingesting cyanide.
The name Clemens von Pirquet was chosen for the Foundation in recognition for the major achievements of the physician who first combined pediatrics and the study and research of allergy.