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Gabriele Falloppio or Falloppia

(Modena, 1523 – Padua, 9.10.1562)

Gabriele Falloppia initially embarked on an ecclesiastic career but, since his youth, he had been dedicated to studying medicine and anatomy, which he practised as a self-taught individual.

In 1544, Modena’s College of Doctors appointed him to carry out the public dissection of an executed man, which marked the start of his study of medicine at the University of Ferrara where he was appointed professor of medicine in 1547. The following year, he was called to Pisa to teach anatomy and, in 1551, he came to the University of Padova to teach medicine and surgery. It was during this time in Padua that he wrote “Observationes anatomicae” which was then published in 1561.
In this work, the doctor and anatomist tried to correct certain errors by the anatomist Andrea Vesalio and described many of the discoveries he had made also thanks to the dissections carried out on human bodies. Falloppio also began carrying out dissections on children, from newborns to foetuses at various stages of gestation, in addition to those on adults.
This also led to the introduction of two new study methods: comparative anatomy and embryology. Falloppio exceeded Vesalio in terms of the precision of his research and the number of discoveries he made. The most famous contribution Falloppio made to our knowledge of anatomy regarded the tubes of the uterus, which are still named after him today. However, he was also responsible for naming, studying and accurately describing many other parts of the body: the channel for the facial nerve and its opening, the bones at the base of the skull, the eardrum, labyrinth, cochlea and many others. He also made many discoveries in the field of myology.
He was a strong supporter of the importance of thermal cures and is also famous for his work as a pharmacist and surgeon.