The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: 51 - 55 (2001)

Vol 45, Issue 1

Special Issue: The Spemann-Mangold Organizer

Spemann's heritage in Finnish developmental biology

Published: 30 November -0001

L Saxén

Department of Pathology, The Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland.


The Finnish school of developmental biology can be considered a direct descendant of Spemann's school as both the original technology and the fundamental problems were introduced into Finland by Gunnar Ekman (1883-1937) who had worked for extended periods in Germany. After his early death, the work was continued by Sulo Toivonen (1909-1995), and until 1968 the group explored the mechanisms of primary induction and the subsequent segregation of the central nervous system. The extensive investigations led to the formulation of the "double-gradient" hypothesis and ultimately to its experimental vindication.

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