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HIS FUTURE FORETOLD—THE 1904 ADDRESS BY HERBERT EVANS LESLIE L. BENNETT* Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue, . . . Troilus and Cressida, act 4, scene 5 One of the great figures in biomedical research during the first half of the twentieth century was Dr. Herbert McLean Evans, who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1904 and returned in 1915 as professor and chairman of the department of anatomy in the school of medicine. Following his graduation he entered the school of medicine, completing 1 year, and in the summer of 1905 transferred to The Johns Hopkins University Medical School, where his research career in biological fields really commenced. As a student there he soon came under the influence of Franklin P. Mall, professor ofanatomy, and began research in anatomy and embryology that dealt primarily with the blood vascular system. His first anatomical paper appeared in 1907 in the American Journal of Anatomy and consisted of 13 pages concerning the blood supply of lymphatic vessels in man. His first paper dealing with embryology appeared in 1908, the year of his graduation from medical school, and was based on reconstruction of a 4.3-ml human embryo (neck-breech length) from the Mall collection. He reported finding two subclavian arteries in the early arm bud and extensively discussed the opposing views regarding the origin of the major arteries of the extremities—that is, whether they were metamerie in character with several segments contributing primitive arteries or whether they developed from the earliest capillary network, thus never having metamerie character. This basic question was again the subject of a maThe text of Dr. Evans's address is quoted with permission from the Bancroft Library and Mrs. Gail Evans LaForge. *Professor of physiology emeritus and vice-chancellor emeritus, University of California , San Francisco. Present address: 959 Peralta Avenue, Albany, California 94706.© 1985 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 003 1-5982/86/290 1 -0456$0 1 .00 Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 29, 1 ¦ Autumn 1985 \ 153 jor paper in 1909, in which he described the earliest development of blood vessels to the anterior limb buds of birds and showed by injection of india ink into the vascular system of living embryos that the arteries developed from a diffuse capillary net rather than in a metamerie fashion . The beautiful illustrations in this paper manifest that Evans was not only a skillful embryologist but also a highly professional medical illustrator . These illustrations consist of 20 plates and are both simple blackand -white drawings and drawings with two and three colors. Five of them bear both a date and the initials HME in his unmistakable handwriting . His work in embryology was of such caliber that while a medical student he was invited by Mall to be one of the authors of the twovolume Manual ofHuman Embryology, edited by Kiebel and Mall, appearing in German in 1911 and in its English edition in 1912. His anatomical research not directly related to embryology or the vascular system began later, after he became involved in research using the azo dyes as vital stains. This research was primarily histological in character, and a major subject was the differentiation of macrophages from other cells of connective tissues. His research in endocrinology, reproductive physiology, and nutrition really began after his return to Berkeley in 1915, and from this research two major scientific legacies were left, the discovery of vitamin E and of hypophyseal growth hormone. Equally interesting as these discoveries per se is the fact that from the early 1920s on his laboratory was organized in an interdisciplinary fashion involving both chemists and biologists . Until his retirement these two groups worked jointly on the isolation and identification of vitamin E and the six then-known anterior hypophyseal hormones and on a variety ofbiological problems related to these compounds. For over 2 decades this research was supported largely from private sources, and it began long before federal support became available for such broadly based interdisciplinary programs. In addition to his scientific achievements, he left his mark in education, both through his students and, for over half a century, on the instructional program of the university's department...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 153-163
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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