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Thomas Addis (July 27, 1881 - June 4, 1949) was a physician-scientist who made important contributions to the understanding of how blood clots. He was a pioneer in the field of nephrology, the branch of internal medicine that deals with diseases of the kidney. Addis was the first to demonstrate that normal plasma could correct the defect in haemophilia.
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Thomas Chalmers Addis Jr. was the son of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Chalmers Addis, a Presbyterian minister, and Cornelia Beers-Campbell, who married in Hoboken, New York, in 1880, but he was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Addis studied medicine in his native Edinburgh, at the Institute of Pathology of Berlin Charité, and in Heidelberg. He graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1905, and in 1908 earned a license to practice medicine.
In 1911, he took up a professorship at Stanford University, where he remained until his death in 1949. Addis married Elesa Bolton Partridge in 1913. They had two daughters, Elesa and Jean. By way of his daughter Jean, Addis is the great-grandfather of Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco.
Besides his studies in haemophilia, Addis made many contributions to the understanding of bile pigment metabolism. His investigations into kidney function led to the birth of modern renal physiology. Addis developed a means of measuring the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, epithelial cells, casts, and the protein content in urine specimens, a test used in the diagnosis and management of kidney disease.
Writing in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, Roland Schmitt et al. assessed Addis's contribution to medical science this way: "Since the times of Thomas Addis and other pioneers, no physical examination is said to be complete without the doctor looking at the patient's urine, grossly and under the microscope."
At the end of his career, Stanford University took away Addis's laboratory, perhaps on account of his leftist political views. He supported the loyalists in the Spanish Revolution, and was chairman of the San Francisco chapter of the Spanish Refugee Appeal, an organization that aided refugees from Franco's Spain. Addis toured the Soviet Union in 1935 and came away impressed by the communist country's medical accomplishments. He was friends with Harry Bridges and other leftwingers. Addis was chairman of the San Francisco chapter of Physician's Forum, an organization that supported national heath insurance. Shortly before his death, he was expelled from the American Medical Association for refusing to pay his annual membership fee, which he did to protest the AMA's lack of support for President Truman's national health insurance plan.
His Stanford colleague Frank W. Weymouth wrote about him:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thomas_Addis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|