Johann Michael Leupoldt
Born: 11.11.1794 in Wießenstadt (Fichtelgebirge)
Died: 21.08.1874 in Erlangen
Doctorate:1818 in Erlangen (medicine)
University lecturer: 1818 - 1820, 1821-1872 Erlangen
Despite a serious case of typhoid and great financial difficulties, Leupoldt managed to attain both his doctorate and his postdoctoral qualification to lecture in the same year, 1818. Born the son of a tailor, he had begun his medical studies in 1814, and soon became especially interested in psychiatry. From 1818 onwards, he lectured on anatomy, physiology and mental illness. He interrupted his studies in 1820 and, equipped with a grant from the Bavarian government, travelled to Berlin in order to learn more about psychiatry. While working in the mental ward at the Charité, he met Horn and Langermann.
In the year of his return to Erlangen (1821) he was made extraordinary professor, in 1826 he achieved full professorship. It was mainly thanks to Leupoldt that the first Bavarian mental hospital was opened in 1845. He had campaigned intensively for the creation of an institution of this type and offered his services as an expert adviser upon its opening. Though he had had ambitions on the Directorship, the position was filled by his pupils Solbrig and (later) Hagen.
Leupold, who had become rector of the University of Erlangen only a few years after achieving full professor status, was also chairman of the Erlanger Societas physica-medica for 17 years. He published an immense number of scientific writings in his own right, and also published in Nasse's Zeitschrift für psychiatrische Ärzte (journal for psychiatric doctors), in Friedreich's Magazin für Seelenkunde (magazine for psychology) and in other periodicals. In has later years, Leupoldt increasingly lost contact with his colleagues, whom he considered to be biased towards a materialistic and empirical point of view. Nevertheless, he continued to teach into his old age. Then aged 77, Leupoldt gave his last lectures in the summer term of 1872.
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Last update: 2003-07-25 (me)