Hans Selye

Hans Selye

Hans Hugo Bruno Selye, more commonly known as Hans Selye, was one of the most influential endocrinologists who is known for his research he effects of stress on the human body.


Early Life and Education:

Born in Vienna in 1907, Hans Selye attended the German University of Prague as well as the universities of Paris and Rome.

Contributions and Achievements:

In his second year of medical school, Selye started to work on his theory of the influence of stress on a person’s capacity to handle the pressures of injury and disease. He found out that patients with an assortment of ailments demonstrated lots of similar symptoms, which he associated with their effort to cope up with the stress of being ill.

Selye termed this collection of symptoms as the “general adaptation syndrome”. He earned worldwide acclaim for his extraordinary contributions and he was named “the Einstein of medicine”.

Selye defined “stress” in 1936 in his first scientific paper. He wrote over 1700 scholarly papers and 39 books about stress. His work has been mentioned in millions of publications in nearly all major languages of the world. Selye’s two major books The Stress of Life (1956) and Stress Without Distress (1974) were best-sellers and sold in millions of copies worldwide.

As a physician and endocrinologist, he had three earned doctorates and 43 honorary doctorates.

Later Life and Death:

Hans Selye also worked as a professor and director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the Université de Montréal. During his stay, he showcased the role of emotional responses in creating or fighting much of the wear and tear felt by human beings in their lifespan.

Selye died in 1982 in Montreal, where he had spent much of life researching the subjects related to stress.