The life of Filippo Pacini (1812-1883) and his major scientific achievements are outlined. Pacini drew attention to the corpuscles named after him in 1831, when he was a medical student, and had to struggle for many years to convince the scientific community of the reliability and importance of his findings. In 1849 Pacini became professor of anatomy at the University of Florence. Creative scientist, innovative teacher, well aware that the use of the microscope represented a revolutionary approach, Pacini pursued histological studies until his death. He also first discovered in 1854 (30 years before Robert Koch) the causative agent of cholera, and firmly believed that the disease was contagious. Strong-willed, modest, and poor, Pacini received from his colleagues more recognition in the obituaries than during his life.
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