Diabetes and the eye

Catalogue Number: 500
Diabetes and the eye
Category: Book
Sub-Category: Book of historical note
Author: CAIRD F I, PIRIE Antoinette, RAMSELL Terrance George
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1969
Edition: 1st edition
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Oxford
Publisher/Manufacturer: Blackwell Scientific Publications
Description Of Item: Original cloth, 230 pages, illustrated. De-accessioned August 2019
Historical Significance: F I Caird BM BCh FRCP was from the University Department of Geriatric Medicine, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow and published a number research articles on diabetes and the eye. Antoinette ("Tony") Pirie (1905-1991) (pictured) worked in the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at Oxford University. She sustained two interests, one as a biochemist and the other as an educator, working on malnutrition, both pursuing the prevention of blinding eye disease. At the outbreak of World War 2 she was seconded to work on the responses of the eye to war gases. After the war she joined Ida Mann (see Cat No 593 and 996) as a research assistant at the then newly-built Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, where they worked on the problems of ocular development, metabolism and toxicology. In 1946 they wrote "The Science of Seeing" partly to refute Aldous Huxley's 'pernicious" book The Art of Seeing. In 1947 Pirie became reader in ophthalmology and was elected to a professorial fellowship at Somerville College. Her later research was directed almost exclusively to the lens and cataract. She made fundamental discoveries in the areas of lens metabolism, enzymes and lens proteins. She was the first to characterise vitreous collagen. Many of her studies were concerned with the characterisation of lens crystallins and the changes in crystallins occurring in cataract. She was fascinated by vitamins and their importance in eye tissues. She was one of the leaders actively involved in seeking ways to prevent and alleviate vitamin A deficiency in developing countries.Ida Mann is a sufficiently well regarded figure in the history of ophthalmology for her place of residence from 1902 and 1934 at13 Minster Road Kilburn to have a London 'Blue sign' stating 'Dame Ida Mann (1893-1983) Ophthalmologist lived here 1902-1934'. It was installed in September 2012 and is located in the Fordwych Road frontage of the house. Australian optometrist Don Ezekiel unveiled the blue sign with Ida Mann's niece. See Museum I-photo for two photographs. The announcement of the unveiling of the plaque adds some interesting biographical material, namely 'An accomplished anatomist, she went on to produce the standard work on ocular embryology, making best use of perhaps the finest collection of embryos in any hospital at the time. She was instrumental in introducing the slit lamp to the UK in 1921 and in travelling to Budapest in 1937 to persuade Dr Josef Dallos, the pioneering contact lens practitioner, to come to Britain. She would go on to be the first president of the Contact Lens Society in 1946. She was the first woman professor of ophthalmology and the first woman professor (in any subject) at the University of Oxford. Ida Mann was one of the first ophthalmologists to pay proper respect to optometrists as professional equals, a point which the distinguished Australian optometrist Don Ezekiel made at the unveiling. The Contact Lens Society was the first inter-professional group of its type and a forerunner of the multi-disciplinary British Contact Lens Association.'
How Acquired: Ex Nathan Library
Condition: Very good
Location: De-accessioned

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