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Biographical entry Robertson, Thorburn Brailsford (1884 - 1930)

Born
4 March 1884
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died
18 January 1930
Glenelg, South Australia, Australia
Occupation
Biochemist and Physiologist

Summary

Brailsford Robertson was a pioneering biochemist whose research focused on the physical chemistry of proteins in relation to growth, and animal nutrition, in which field he gained international recognition. At the University of Adelaide where he was Professor in physiology and biochemistry from 1919 to 1930 he established the modern discipline of biochemistry and formed the Animal Products Research Foundation. Robertson played a pivotal role during the early 1920s in establishing insulin manufacture in Australia within a year of the discovery of its relationship to diabetes. He discovered the growth hormone tethelin, while his book The chemical basis of growth and senescence (1923) earned him the description of Australia's first gerontologist. With John Cleland and Frederick Wood Jones he founded both the Medical Sciences Club of South Australia and, in 1924, the Australian journal of experimental biology and medical science. In 1927 Robertson was appointed to Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to form what became the Division of Animal Nutrition.

Details

Events

1892
Life event - Migrated to Australia
1905
Education - BSc, University of Adelaide
1906 - 1910
Career position - Assistant Lecturer, Department of Physiology, University of California, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
1907
Education - PhD, University of California, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
1908
Education - DSc, University of Adelaide
1910 - 1917
Career position - Associate Professor of Physiological Chemistry and Pharmacology, University of California, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
1917 - 1918
Career position - Professor of Physiological Chemistry and Pharmacology, University of California, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
1918 - 1919
Career position - Professor of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, Canada
1919 - 1926
Career position - Professor of Physiology, University of Adelaide
1926 - 1930
Award - Foreign Member, Reale Academia Nazionale, Italy
1926 - 1930
Career position - Professor of Biochemistry and Physiology, University of Adelaide
1928 - 1930
Career position - Director, animal nutrition laboratory, CSIR

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Related People

Archival resources

Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide

  • Thorburn Brailsford Robertson - Records, 1902 - 1922, 574.19/B65a; Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide. Details

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Corporate Records and Archives Strategies

  • Thorburn Brailsford Robertson - Records, 1912 - 1930, S23,24,25 and others; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Corporate Records and Archives Strategies. Details

Private hands (Robertson, D.S.)

  • Thorburn Brailsford Robertson - Records, 1902 - 1932; Private hands (Robertson, D.S.). Details

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Thorburn Brailsford Robertson - Records, 1892 - 1957, PRG 136; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Bolton, H. C.; Coller, B.A.W., 'Two Letters of William Sutherland to T. Brailsford Robertson: Ideas on the Electrical Conductivity of Proteins', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 9, no. 4, 1993, pp. 357-368. http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR9930940357.htm. Details
  • Dawbarn, M. C., 'Thorburn Brailsford Robertson bibliography', Australian journal of experimental biology and medical science, vol. 9, no. 1, 1932, pp. 7-21. Details
  • Everett, A. V., 'The work of Brailsford Robertson, a pioneer experimental gerontologist', Gerontologia, vol. 4, 1960, pp. 60-75. Details
  • Marston, Hedley, R., 'Thorburn Brailsford Robertson', Australian Journal of Experimental Biology and Medical Science, vol. 9, no. 1, 1932, pp. 1-5. Details
  • Rogers, George E., 'Thorburn Brailsford Robertson: brilliant scholar, innovator and Australia's first Professor of Biochemistry', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 28, no. 2, 2017, pp. 99-110, https://doi.org/10.1071/HR17002. Details
  • Schedvin, C. B., 'Environment, Economy and Australian Biology 1890-1939', Historical Studies, vol. 21, 1984, pp. 11-28. Details
  • W., H., 'Thorburn Brailsford Robertson (1884 - 1930)', Biochemical Journal, vol. 24, no. 3, 1930, pp. 37-8. Details

Resources

See also

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn