Sigurdsgade 26, 2200 København, Denmark
Gram received a Bachelor of Arts from the Copenhagen Metropolitan School in 1871.
Nørregade 10, 1165 København, Denmark
In 1883 Gram obtained the Doctor of Medicine from the University of Copenhagen.
Hans Christian Gram
Gram early took up studies in the natural sciences. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the Copenhagen Metropolitan School in 1871, he developed an interest in medicine, and in 1883 he obtained the Doctor of Medicine from the University of Copenhagen. Kristiana University (now University of Oslo) awarded him the Doctor of Medicine honoris causa in 1912.
Gram was an assistant in botany to the zoologist Japetus Steenstrup from 1873 to 1874. From 1878 to 1882 he was an assistant in various Copenhagen hospitals.
From 1883 to 1885 Gram traveled in Europe, studying pharmacology and bacteriology. In 1884, while working with Friedländer in Berlin, he published his famous microbiological staining method. Gram experimented with staining pneumococci bacteria by modifying Ehrlich’s alkaline aniline solutions. Gram stained his preparations with aniline gentian violet, adding Lugol’s solution for from one to three minutes. When he then removed the nonspecific attributed stain with absolute alcohol, certain bacteria retained the color.
Gram spent the next few years as a hospital assistant. In 1891 he was appointed a professor of pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen, a position he maintained with inspiring diligence until 1900, although he had also become a chief physician in internal medicine at the Royal Frederiks Hospital in 1892. Gram took great interest in the clinical education of young students. He was appointed ordinary professor in 1900 and from 1902 to 1909 he published his four-volume Klinisk-therapeutiske Forelaesninger, which shows his interest in rational pharmacotherapy in clinical science.
In addition to his university post, Gram had a large private practice in internal medicine. As chairman of the Pharmacopoeia Commission, he cleared the field of many obsolete therapeutics. After his retirement in 1923, he resumed his former interest in the history of medicine.
Gram was an honorary member of Svenska Lakaresallskapet, Verein fur Innere Medizin, and Dansk Selskab for Intern Medicin.
Gram married Louise I. C. Lohse in 1889. She died eleven years later.