- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Thomas Addis

Born  1881-07-27
Died  1949

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Scottish-American physician (nephrologist), born July 27, 1881, Edinburgh; died 1949.

Biography of Thomas Addis

Thomas Addis studied medicine in his native city of Edinburgh, as well as at the Institute of Pathology at the Berlin Charité, and in Heidelberg. He graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1905, and in 1908 gained his M.R.C.P and was conferred doctor of medicine. He then won a Carnegie scholarship and studied in Berlin and Heidelberg (1909-1910). In 1911 he was invited to Stanford University, San Francisco, becoming assistant professor in 1912 and in 1920 was appointed professor of medicine.

Addis was one of the first to show that normal plasma could correct the defect in haemophilia, and made contributions on bile pigment metabolism. His major interest, however, was the kidney, and in 1916 he commenced studies on urea excretion with Burgess Barnett, which led him to the concept of clearance (so much blood "freed" of urea per unit time) and the birth of modern renal physiology. He published a textbook on the kidney with Jean Redman Oliver (1890-1976) and studied the effect of dietary protein on renal function and its importance of renal disease.


  • Jean Oliver and Thomas Addis:
    The renal lesion in Bright's disease. New York, 1931.

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