Remembering Hugo Schulz
By Edward J. Calabrese
International Dose-Response Society
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003
Hugo Schulz should have an important place in the history of pharmacology and toxicology because he is credited with being the one who discovered what is now referred to as hormesis.
Over eighty years ago, on his 70th birthday, Schulz gave his colleagues a detailed look at his life and times as a pharmacologist at the University of Griefswald in northern Germany during the later decades of the 19th century and the earliest years of the 20th century. This autobiographical glimpse into the life and mind of Schulz has many interesting facets, but none are more exciting than that moment of discovery when he saw his first “inverted U” dose response. It is particularly fascinating that his initial response was that of surprise and disbelief -surely this must be an error! So, he did what every well-trained scientist did: he attempted to replicate his original observations.
I think you will find the story of Schulz and the original observation of the hormetic response an invaluable contribution to the history of toxicology.