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BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 22 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:429
  1. Jeff Aronson, reader in clinical pharmacology, Oxford

    Louis Lewin (pronounced Leveen), whom some have called the father of toxicology, died in December 1929, aged 79. He spent a lifetime studying morphine and cocaine, mescaline from Anhalonium Lewinii (the peyote plant, named after him by Hennings), the harmala alkaloids, Piper methysticum (kava kava), and Chavica betel. And he left a legacy of almost 300 journal publications and several monographs on toxicological, forensic, ethnographic, pharmacological, and historical topics.

    Lewin eventually became a full professor at the Friedrich-Wilhelm Universität in Berlin, although for various reasons (mostly the usual ones) recognition took a long time coming. His most important works were Gifte und Vergiftungen—Lehrbuch …

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