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Jakob Heine

Jakob (or Jacob) Heine (April 16, 1800November 12, 1879) was a German orthopaedist. He is most famous for his study, in 1840, into poliomyelitis, which was the first medical report on the disease, and the first time the illness was recognised as a clinical entity. Poliomyelitis is often known as the Heine-Medin disease, after the work of Heine and Karl Oskar Medin.

Heine studied classical languages and theology before turning to medicine, a decision influenced by his uncle, Johann Georg Heine, who owned a orthopaedic institute in Würzburg. He was awarded a doctorate in 1827. In the 1830s, Jakob Heine opened an orthopaedic institution in Cannstatt and served as director there until 1865.

An honorary citizen of Cannstatt, Heine received the titles of Court counsellor and Privy counsellor, and was raised to the nobility with the Württembergian Order of the Crown.