The Professors’ Professor: The American Students of August Krogh

Allan Lyngs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper examines the creation and development of an international social network between physiologists in Denmark and the United States in the period 1907-1939. At the center of the network was the Danish physiologist and 1920 Nobel Laureate August Krogh and his Zoophysiological Laboratory at the University of Copenhagen. In total, sixteen Americans were visiting researchers at the Zoophysiological Laboratory until 1939, and more than half of them were at some point in their career affiliated with Harvard University. For many of them, their visit would be the start of a long-term connection with Krogh and the broader network. This paper shows how the American visitors, Krogh, and the Zoophysiological Laboratory benefitted from being part of this network of top researchers in physiology and medicine. The visits themselves provided the Zoophysiological Laboratory with intellectual stimulus and more manpower for its research, while the American visitors received training and developed research ideas. Beyond the visits, the network gave the members, especially the central figures such as August Krogh, access to advice, job offers, funding and travel opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Pages (from-to)171-190
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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