- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Joseph Godwin Greenfield

Born 1884
Died 1958

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British neuropathologist, born May 24, 1884; died 1958.

Biography of Joseph Godwin Greenfield

Joseph Godwin Greenfield's father was professor of pathology and clinical medicine in Edinburgh. He graduated from Edinburgh and was house physician to Sir Byron Bramwell (1847-1931), one of the great clinicians and neurologists of the time at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

He was the physician at East London Hospital for Children, and in 1910 came to National Hospital, Queen’s Square, first as a house physician. He subsequently worked in Matthew John Stewart’s (born 1885) pathology department in Leeds, returning to become pathologist at Queen’s Square, London. In 1914 he succeeded the neurologist Samuel Alexander Kinnier Wilson (1878-1937) as dean of the medical school. He remained there for 35 years and made many contributions to pathological classification, especially in encephalitis and diffuse sclerosis.

Though he was not himself an experimental pathologist, Greenfield encouraged others and wrote important texts of the time on staining techniques and the cerebrospinal fluid.

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An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

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