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Encyclopedia > Edward Mellanby

Professor Edward Mellanby (1884 - 1955) discovered vitamin D and the role of the vitamin in preventing rickets in 1919.

He was professor of pharmacology at the University of Sheffield, and consultant physician at the Royal Infirmary in that city. He would serve as the secretary of the Medical Research Council from 1933 to 1949. He was a fellow of the Royal Society.

Publications include Nutrition and Disease - the Interaction of Clinical and Experimental Work (Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934). In the work, he writes extensively on vitamin deficiency.

  Results from FactBites:
Mellanby, Edward (532 words)
Mellanby's work laid the foundation for this conclusion, since the cod-liver oil fed to the dogs was a good source of vitamin D and the dogs were raised without exposure to sunlight.
Research conducted by Sir Edward Mellanby led to the discovery that rickets is a disease of malnutrition, curable with regular doses of cod-liver oil.
In 1920, Mellanby was appointed chair of the pharmacology department at the University of Sheffield in England, and as an honorary physician to the Royal Infirmary.
Loudon I. An early Medical Research Council controlled trial of vitamins for preventing infection (2417 words)
Mellanby and Green were cautious in interpreting these observations, however, noting that, although impressive, the results were ‘too few in number to allow the deduction that this form of treatment is specific in its nature for septicaemia’.
The change from ‘puerperal sepsis’ to ‘puerperal pyrexia for the purposes of notification is not mentioned in the paper, but it is clear that if Mellanby had not included all cases of puerperal morbidity such as mastitis, cystitis and gonorrhea, he would not have had enough cases to achieve a statistically significant result.
The fifth of the five authors of the study report was Sir Edward Mellanby (1884-1955), a leading expert on the role of nutrition in general and the vitamins in particular.
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