CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.

Today’s History Feature:

Sir William Bayliss

(May 2, 1860 – Aug 27, 1924)

💠 English Physiologist

His contributions…

  • Bayliss joined his medical studies at London University in 1881and continued in Wadham College, Oxford. After his studies, he started his career as a teacher at University College, London. Simultaneously, he began his grand discovery there.
  • In 1890, he commenced his scientific partnership with Dr. Ernest Starling. During 1893, Bayliss married Starling’s sister, therefore, they became brothers-in-law.
  • They collaborated throughout their scientific career. The duo started their extensive research on the concept of fluid shift in the body and described the role of Hydrostatic pressure and Oncotic pressure at capillary level and then named it as “Starlings Equilibrium.”
  • Subsequently, they invented the innervation of small intestine and revealed the peristalsis. They further stated the “Starling’s Law of Intestine” as the food causes a band of contraction proximally and relaxation distally, which results in peristalsis wave.
  • In 1902, they proposed that the duodenal mucosa secrets “Secretin,” which excites pancreas. Secretin is the first hormone isolated in the human body.
  • Furthermore, they published this landmark manuscript in the Journal of Physiology as “The Mechanism of Pancreatic Secretions”.
  • In 1905, they coined the term “Hormone,” which was adapted from Greek word and meant – “to set in motion.”
  • The introduction of the concept of hormone led to the foundation for the development of endocrinology.
  • They also discovered the distal convoluted tubules of the kidney and described the absorption of water and various electrolytes.
  • During the First World War, Dr. Bayliss conducted researches and released the greatest practical value on the treatment of traumatic shock.
  • To combat wound shock, he devised the “Gum-Saline Mixture” infusion, which consists of normal saline with 6% Gum arabic – thereby he saved lives of many wounded soldiers.
  • Moreover, he published his textbook “The Principles of General Physiology,” which has been recognized as the “Text book for Professors.”
  • Eventually, Dr. Bayliss was honoured with Knighthood and Royal Medal awards for his significant research in the field of medicine.

A Day to Commemorate…

The Pre-eminent Scientist in the Golden Age of Physiology.

Sir William Bayliss 🙏🏼


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