Cell Theory TimeLine

  • 1543

    Andreas Vesalius

    Andreas Vesalius
    Andreas Vesalius was a Renaissance physician who revolutionized the study of biology and the practice of medicine by his accurate description of the anatomy of the human body. Basing his observations on dissections he developed himself, he wrote and illustrated the first comprehensive textbook of anatomy, “The Fabrica”. His discoveries helped show how cells can work together in the human body to form complex organs, and therefore are the basic units of life.
  • Hans and Zacharias Janssen

    Hans and Zacharias Janssen
    Hans and Zacharias Janssen were known for inventing the compound optical microscope. They produced the first compound microscope by combining two convex lenses within a tube. This contributed to the cell theory by making it easier and more practical to observe cells.
  • Robert Hooke

    Robert Hooke
    Robert Hooke discovered that plants were comprised of similar boxes during an observation of fossil wood. He named those boxes cells, aiding to the creation of the cell theory by discovering the cell that it describes. Subsequently, he published a book describing his microscopic and telescopic observations, and some original work in biology, called “Micrographia.”
  • Francesco Redi

    Francesco Redi
    Francesco Redi performed an experiment to determine if rotting meat turned into flies. He found that meat cannot turn into flies and only flies could make more flies. This was an important experiment because it helped to disprove the theory of spontaneous generation. However, his theories were not widely accepted until the time of Louis Pasteur. He may rightly be called the father of modern Parasitology, and also regarded as the founder of experimental biology.
  • Anton Van Leeuwenhoek

    Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
    Anton van Leeuwenhoek built and improved microscopes (up to 27o magnifications per diameter). His microscopes were essential in the discovery of the cell theory, for they allowed the study of the cell itself. Likewise, while observing pond water, he discovered single-celled organisms that he called animalcules. He also was one of the first people to observe protozoa and bacteria cells. This contributed to the cell theory by discovering organisms with one cell.
  • John Needham

    John Needham
    John Needham researched the spontaneous creation of microscopic organisms. He heated samples of broth, which he had previously checked for microorganisms, and then examined the broth again finding again microorganisms. This led him to the conclusion that spontaneous generation was possible. His results were wrong, because he hadn't heated the broth hot enough to kill the organisms. His experiment was later disproved, which helped the cell theory become more accepted.
  • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

    Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
    Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was a prominent biologist. He helped the cell theory by stating that “no body can have life unless its constitute parts are cellular tissue or consist of cellular tissue." Likewise, he is accredited for contributing to the theory of evolution. His primary contribution was the theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics. He discovered the environment made organisms change their makeup, these changes were passed down through the generations.
  • Robert Brown

    Robert Brown
    Robert Brown was a Scottish botanist who focused his studies on observation of plant cells through a microscope. His observations led him to discover the cytoplasmic streaming and the cell’s nucleus, and was the first scientist to describe the nucleus’ natural occurrence in living organisms’ cells. He gave the nucleus its name, and helped to develop the cell theory by attempting to understand the nucleus' importance in cellular activity.
  • Matthias Schleiden

    Matthias Schleiden
    Matthias Schleiden was a botanist and A CO-FOUNDER OF THE CELL THEORY. With the help of Theodor Schwann, he concluded that all parts of plants are made out of cells and that cells are the smallest unit of structure in organisms (two of the three essential principles in the cell theory). Likewise, Schleiden worked with other scientists on the importance of the nucleus in cell division, as well as having detailed observations of plant development on a cellular level.
  • Theodor Schawnn

    Theodor Schawnn
    Theodor Schawnn was a physiologist and A CO-FOUNDER OF THE CELL THEORY. With the help of Matthias Schleiden, he concluded that all living organisms are composed of one or more cells and that the cell is the basic unit of structure and organization in organisms (two of the three essential principles in the cell theory). Furthermore, he contributed to the discovery of Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, the pepsin, the organic nature of yeast, and the invention of the term metabolism.
  • Louis Pasteur

    Louis Pasteur
    Louis Pasteur came up with a process to prevent milk and wine from making people sick (Pasteurization) which was based off his work on germ theory. Likewise, he contributed to the cell theory by disproving spontaneous generation and replacing it with biogenesis which states that all living things came from preexisting life. Biogenesis is the basis or Germ Theory which led Pasteur to discover vaccines for Rabies and Anthrax as well as other medical accomplishments.
  • Rudolf Virchow

    Rudolf Virchow
    Rudolf Virchow was a scientist and A CO-FOUNDER OF THE CELL THEORY. He concluded all cells arise from pre-existing cells (one of the three essential principles in the cell theory). He was the first to discover leukemia cells and created the concept of pathological processes. That concept describes the development and origin of pathogens, or diseases, in an organism. According to his process, diseases arise within an organism's individual cell, and then they travel to other cells.