Artist Sam Falconer’s portraits highlight the achievements of fascinating figures in medicine, whose contributions range from discovering the causative agent of syphilis to advancing techniques for the study of living cells.
Paira Mall (1874–1957) was a doctor and linguist. In 1911 he was financed by Henry Wellcome to travel throughout India and the Far East in search of a diverse range of artefacts relevant to the history of medicine.
Alice Stewart (1906–2002) was a doctor and epidemiologist who demonstrated the link between the x-rays of pregnant women and the subsequent higher risk of cancers in their children. In her later life she studied the rate of radiation-induced illnesses in employees of the Hanford plutonium production plant in Washington.
Honor Fell (1900–86) developed new techniques for the study of living cells in tissue and organ culture. She was the director of the Strangeways Laboratory in Cambridge from 1927 to 1970. She studied the effect of agents including vitamin A on bone and cartilage development, and provided Francis Crick with his first biological research project.
Hideyo Noguchi (1876-1928) was a Japanese bacteriologist. While working at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research he discovered the causative agent of syphilis in the brains of patients with progressive paralysis. He died of yellow fever in Africa while researching the disease.
Robina Addis (1900–86) was a psychiatric social worker and pioneer in child guidance and family mental health therapy. She lectured and campaigned widely in support of more humane care for children. Addis held senior roles in the field, including as Deputy General Secretary of the National Association for Mental Health (later MIND) and as a member of the board of the World Federation for Mental Health.
Lillias Hamilton (1858–1925) was one of the first female doctors in Britain. She worked as the personal physician to the Amir of Afghanistan, as Warden of Studley College in Warwickshire (training women for careers in horticulture and agriculture) and as a doctor in Serbia with the Wounded Allied Relief Committee.
About the illustrator
Sam Falconer is an illustrator and artist with a particular interest in science and deep time. He has illustrated content for publications including National Geographic, Scientific American and New Scientist.