Historical Tidbit: Philip Edward Smith, Ph.D. (January 1, 1884-December 8, 1970)
Submitted by Alan D. Rogol, MD, Ph.D.
Philip Smith developed methods to safely remove pituitary glands from many species. He is known for his work in tadpoles and the rat using a meticulous, reproducible, ventral parapharyngeal approach. He was able to separate functions due to the pituitary, for the hypothalamus was not injured (Am J Anat 1930; 45:205-273). Consequences included cessation of growth, and atrophy of the gonads, thyroid and adrenals. His work opened the field of pituitary physiology, for his hypophysectomized animals became bioassays for anterior pituitaries or their extracts; for example, ablation followed by the transplantation of fresh anterior pituitary tissue reversed the atrophy of the ovaries and uterus. Subsequent purifications of the pituitary extracts led to the identification of the individual anterior pituitary hormones.