- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Andrea Prader

Born  1919-12-23
Died  2001-06-03

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Swiss paediatrician and endocrinologist, born December 23, 1919, Samaden, Grisons; died June, 3, 2001, Zurich.

Biography of Andrea Prader

Andrea Prader attended primary school and the Gymnasium in Zürich, where he also studied medicine. He qualified in 1944 and in 1947 obtained a position as assistant physician at the Kinderspital - the Children's Hospital - in Zürich. He held the title of specialist in paediatrics from 1950, and then continued his studies at the Bellevue Hospital New York. He also visited Lawson Wilkins (1894-1963), who influenced him towards his interest in paediatric endocrinology.

Prader was habilitated in 1957 and in 1962 he was appointed full professor and chairman of the department of paediatrics at the University of Zurich and director of the hospital. He succeeded Guido Fanconi (1892-1979) and remained in these positions until 1986.

He made fundamental studies of the growth and development of normal children, and his research interests included endocrine and metabolic disorders, medical genetics, the pathophysiology of steroid hormones - including intersex-conditions and defects of the steroid synthesis. In addition to the condition that bears his name, Prader has been involved in the discovery and delineation of lipid adrenal hyperplasia, hereditary fructose intolerance and pseudo-vitamin D deficiency.

He was an international figure in paediatrics and has held office on many academic bodies. He has been considered "Grand Old Man" in European paediatric endocrinology. In 1962 and 1971 (with J. M. Frances) he was president of the European Society for Paediatric endocrinology. The Andrea Prader Prize is a Leadership Award given to a member of this Society in recognition of achievements within the field of paediatric endocrinology: The prize is supported by Pharmacia & Upjohn, Stockholm. 1972 to 1974 he was president of the Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Pädiatrie, of which he was a member of honour. He also held honorary memberships of several foreign scientific bodies.

We thank Patrick Jucker-Kupper for information submitted.


  • Ettore Rossi (1905-1998), A. Prader:
    Die Angiokardiographie bei angeborenen Herzfehlern.
    Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift, Basel, 1948, 78: 1054-64.
  • Peter Beighton & Gretha Beighton:
    The Man Behind the Syndrome.
    Springer Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg, 1986.

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