Pitt-Rivers, Rosalind & Jamshed R. Tata. | The Thyroid Hormones

  • First edition, first printing of this key work by one of Britain’s leading biochemists. A beautiful copy in the jacket.

    Rosalind Pitt-Rivers earned her PhD in biochemistry in 1939 under the supervision of Sir Charles Harington, whose lab at the National Institute for Medical research she then joined. The Second World War interrupted her career, but in 1950 she returned to Harington’s lab. “This move turned out to be a propitious event in her scientific career. Inspired by Harington's major interest in elucidating the structure of thyroid hormones, she became deeply involved with biochemical research on how what was then thought to be the only thyroid hormone, L-thyroxine (T4), was synthesized in the thyroid gland. In 1951 a young Canadian endocrinologist, Jack Gross, joined Pitt-Rivers as a postdoctoral fellow to discover more about an unidentified iodine-containing compound that he had earlier observed in human and rodent blood. Taking advice from experts in analytical biochemistry at that time working at the NIMR (in particular, A. J. P. Martin, A. T. James, and H. Gordon), Pitt-Rivers and Gross very rapidly identified this unknown compound to be 3,3ʹ,5-triiodothyronine (T3), a report of which was published in The Lancet in 1952. At about the same time a group in Paris at the Collège de France (S. Lissitzky, R. Michel, and J. Roche) identified T3 in the thyroid gland and showed that it was made there as a component of thyroglobulin and secreted into the bloodstream. The following year Gross and Pitt-Rivers were able to demonstrate that a large part of T3 in the blood was derived from T4, and that it was considerably more potent than its precursor, thus establishing T3 to be the principal thyroid hormone. The discovery of triiodothyronine quickly brought Pitt-Rivers international recognition, including her election as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1954” (ODNB).

  • ...With a Chapter on Diseases of the Thyroid. New York: Pergamon Press, 1959.

    Octavo. Original burgundy cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt. With the dust jacket. 3 plates, of which 1 is double-sided. Faint partial toning of the endpapers. An excellent, fresh copy in the jacket that is lightly rubbed along the extremities with light toning of the spine panel.