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Alfred Newton Richards

Born  1876
Died  1966

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American medical scientist, 1876-1966.

Biography of Alfred Newton Richards

Alfred Newton Richards developed micropuncture procedure in animals in his laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, where Richards was for many years chairman of pharmacology. This work was done in collaboration with the younger physician Joseph T. Wearn, who had joined Richard's laboratory in 1921.

Richards's group produced a series of famous reports, notable for their reliability, detail, and cautious interpretations, which established beyond doubt and in great detail the nature of renal glomerular filtration and of selective tubular reabsorption. The studies were confined to amphibian kidneys until 1941. Then, two persons in Dr. Richards's group, Arthur M. Walker and Phyllis A. Bott, working in collaboration with Jean Oliver extended this work to mammalian species. In 1941 they published two landmark micropuncture studies in rodents. That same year when World War II intervened, the Richards laboratory was permanently disbanded as Richards and most of his co-workers entered national service.

The A. Newton Richards Medical Building at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, is named for him.


  • A. N. Richards and kidney micropuncture.
    In: Alfred Newton Richards. Scientist and Man, edited by Isaac Star.
    Annals of Internal Medicine, Philadelphia, 1969, 71: 1-89. [Supplement 8]

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