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- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
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In: Advances in pediatrics, Vol. 64, No. 1, 2017, p. 1-11.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article › peer-review
TY - JOUR
T1 - Foundations of Pediatrics
T2 - Lawson Wilkins, MD (1894–1963)
AU - Fuqua, John S.
AU - Lee, Peter A.
N1 - Funding Information: Thanks to the dedication and skill of many early twentieth century scientists and clinicians, much of basic endocrine physiology had been elucidated by the time Wilkins began to study it in children in the mid-1930s. Insulin had been discovered in 1921 and had been rapidly applied to save the lives of countless people with diabetes. Extracts of the adrenals and parathyroids had been shown to reverse Addison disease and hypoparathyroidism, respectively. Thyroxine had been crystalized in 1915 and testosterone in 1935. The function of the pituitary gland was being elucidated, although attempts at isolation and functional characterization of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and growth hormone continued until the mid-1940s. Critical to later work, techniques of hormone measurement were being developed. Chemical assays of steroids, such as cholesterol, estrogens, and urinary 17-ketosteroids, were available, but bioassays were still widely used in research studies, including comb growth in castrated roosters in response to androgen and the growth of mouse ovaries in response to gonadotropins. The understanding of basic concepts of endocrinology had been established, and the tools for clinical investigators to use were becoming available  . Wilkins and his associates proceeded to use these to expand developmental endocrinology, particularly the endocrine and metabolic effects of thyroid hormone and the physiology of the adrenal cortex. Discussing his group’s research efforts, Wilkins said, “…I have always permitted my assistants to delve into any type of problem which interested them. I know now that it is more important that the scientist have an insatiable curiosity to seek for knowledge along any line which presents itself, no matter how far removed from practical application this may seem to be…Probably the most important discoveries of medicine have been made on the Isle of Serendipity”  . Wilkins’ early research efforts were supported by grants from the Commonwealth Fund beginning in 1938 and the American Cancer Society in 1947. He later received a grant from the National Institutes of Health in 1951 that he maintained for the rest of his career and was awarded a National Institutes of Health training grant in 1959 to support the fellowship program.
PY - 2017
Y1 - 2017
UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85030477420&partnerID=8YFLogxK
UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85030477420&partnerID=8YFLogxK
U2 - 10.1016/j.yapd.2017.03.002
DO - 10.1016/j.yapd.2017.03.002
M3 - Review article
C2 - 28688584
AN - SCOPUS:85030477420
SN - 0065-3101
VL - 64
SP - 1
EP - 11
JO - Advances in pediatrics
JF - Advances in pediatrics
IS - 1