The Pioneer of Cell Therapy 
Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans (1882-1971)

Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans was born in Bern (Switzerland) on 21st November 1882. He was the son of Anna Kaufmann, and his father, also named Paul, was a surgeon from Bern. Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans studied theology in his early age and then changed to study medicine and received enormous help from famous doctors at that time. As a field doctor in World War I, Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans gained extensive clinical experience, after that , he began to study endocrinology with great concentration, especially gland transplant.


Cell Therapy Discovered Thanks to An Operational Error During Surgery

Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans developed Cell Therapy thanks to a surgical accident for which he was not responsible. In April 1931, a female patient lies in a most critical stage at the Lausanne State Hospital. During an operation, her parathyroid gland has been badly injured by the operating surgeon. At this time, Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans is the Head Doctor of Clinique La Prairie in Montreux near Lake Geneva. He is already well known as a world expert in gland transplants and is called urgently to save the life of this dying patient. Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans brings along with him a parathyroid gland freshly extracted from a young veal. Once at the patient’s bed, he realises that her state is desperate as she will never survive any operation. Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans decided then to inject a preparation made from the parathyroid gland rather than performing the transplantation surgery operation he was called for. This action resulted in a total success. The patient recovered all her health and finally died only many years later, aged 81. 

This ground-breaking success leads Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans to gradually move away from traditional surgery transplants to the benefits of intra-muscular injections of fresh cells. Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans performed more than 20,000 cellular injections without advertising his results. 



Only in 1953 , at the Karlsruhe (Germany) Endocrinology Congress did Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans reveal the details of his work and the spectacular success of his therapy. He then becomes world known as "Father of Cell Therapy". 


In 1955, Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans is summoned to Rome to become the private physician of the dying Pope Pius XII. In gratitude for the successful treatment using the cell therapy, the Holy Father granted Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans a membership in the Papal Academy of Sciences. This great honor makes Prof. Dr. Paul Niehans the successor to the late Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. 


Some of the most famous people of the political and art societies become his patients and come regularly to the Clinique La Prairie to take benefit from his treatments: Chancellor Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, Emperor Hirohito, Robert Schumann the "Father" of united Europe, the British Royal Family, Winston Churchill, the Queen of Spain, King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Kings of Yemen and Morocco, Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Michel Simon, Pierre Fresnay, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Sacha Guitry, the painter Georges Braque, Christian Dior, the novelist Somerset Maugham, and many more.