TAIT, James Francis and TAIT, Sylvia Agnes Sophia v1

Published: 20 November, 2023  Author: admin


NATIONAL CATALOGUING UNIT FOR THE ARCHIVES OF CONTEMPORARY SCIENTISTS Catalogue of biographical material relating to James Francis Tait FRS (b. 1925) and Sylvia Agnes Sophia Tait FRS (1917-2003) NCUACS catalogue no. 128/1/04 by Timothy E. Powell and Peter Harper J.F. and S.A.S. Tait NCUACS 128/1/04 Compiled by: Description level: Fonds Date of material: 2003 Extent of material: 1 box, 14 items Timothy E. Powell and Peter Harper Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of James Francis Tait FRS (b. 1925), biochemist, and Sylvia Agnes Sophia Tait FRS (1917-2003), biochemist NCUACS catalogue no. 128/1/04 © 2004 National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, University of Bath. Archives and Manuscripts section, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, London Reference code: GB0120 MS.8128 Deposited in: J.F. and S.A.S. Tait NCUACS 128/1/04 The work of the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists is supported by the following societies and organisations: The Biochemical Society The British Computer Society Girton College Cambridge St John’s College Cambridge Trinity College Cambridge The Institute of Physics The Royal Society The Royal Society of Chemistry The Royal Astronomical Society The Wellcome Trust J.F. and S.A.S. Tait NCUACS 128/1/04 LIST OF CONTENTS Items Page GENERAL INTRODUCTION SECTION A OBITUARIES AND CURRICULA VITAE SECTION B ‘A QUARTET OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES’ SECTION C OTHER BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL J.F. and S.A.S. Tait NCUACS 128/1/04 GENERAL INTRODUCTION PROVENANCE The material was received from Professor J.F. Tait FRS in 2003. OUTLINE OF THE CAREERS OF J.F. TAIT AND S.A.S. TAIT The Taits were a rare example of a married couple both being elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. Even more remarkably they were elected together for their joint work; their careers ran together from the late 1940s. James Francis Tait was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1925. He was educated at the University of Leeds, graduating B.Sc. in Physics 1946 and receiving his Ph.D. in 1948. He lectured at the Department of Medical Physics, Middlesex Hospital Medical Schoo! 1948-1955 before being taken on to the External Scientific Staff of the Medical Research Council until 1958. In 1956 J.F. Tait married Sylvia Simpson, a colleague and fellow-researcher in the Medical School. staff of the MRC in 1955. married a fellow student, Anthony Simpson, who was killed in action a year later. She continued research, working in the Department of Anatomy, University of Oxford as assistant to J.Z. Young, 1941-1944 and then moved to the Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry in the Middlesex Hospital Sylvia Agnes Sophia Tait (née Wardropper) was born in Tumen, Russia, on 8 January 1917. Her 1939, being awarded B.Sc in Zoology and thereafter undertook postgraduate research. In 1940 she Medical School, London where she worked 1944-1955 before, with J.F. Tait, being taken onto the during the Revolution and arrived in the UK in 1919. She studied at University College London, 1935- In 1958 the Taits were jointly invited to go to work with G. Pincus at the Worcester Foundation for father was a British agronomist and her Russian mother was a mathematician. The family fled Russia (initially termed Experimental Biology, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, USA. After a decade of productive research they appointed Joel Professor of Physics as Applied to Medicine 1970-1982 and Sylvia Tait was Research returned to the UK and posts at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1970. J.F. Tait was Associate. Together they jointly headed the Middlesex Hospital Medical School Biophysical Endocrinology Unit 1970 to 1985. In the early 1950s the Taits were part of an international scientific team which, with colleagues in Switzerland including Tadeus Reichstein, isolated and identified aldosterone J.F. and S.A.S. Tait NCUACS 128/1/04 electrocortin), a hormone secreted by the cortex of the adrenal gland, and the last of the major steroid hormones to be discovered. The identification of aldosterone caused widespread scientific excitement for the hormone is part of the complex mechanism used by the body to regulate blood pressure. Its isolation and identification opened up research in a wide range of medically significant areas such as the regulation of salt and water balance, blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. The Taits continued their joint research into aldosterone - a field they were to dominate for thirty years - and the adrenal glands both in the UK and then in the USA in the 1960s. On their return to the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1970 they continued research focused on the cellular functions of the adrenal cortex. The Taits were both elected to the Royal Society in 1959. Joint awards also included the Tadeus Reichstein Award of the International Society for Endocrinology (1976), the Gregory Pincus Memorial Medal (1977) and the American Heart Association’s Ciba Award for Hypertension Research (1977). Sylvia Tait died in February 2003, shortly before an anniversary meeting to mark the discovery of aldosterone, which was then held in her honour. DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION LOCATION OF OTHER MATERIAL anniversary of the discovery of aldosterone in 1953. The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine also holds correspondence between Professor Tadeus Reichstein, Organisch-chemische Anstalt der Universitat Basel, and The chief component of this small collection is the unpublished typescript of the Taits’ book ‘A Quartet of Scientific Discoveries’, which recounted a number of the significant scientific breakthroughs in which they were involved or witnessed at first hand. There are also obituaries of Sylvia Tait, curricula vitae of the Taits including lists of their publications, and a little further material relating to the fiftieth Bath 2004 Sylvia Tait and James Tait, Middlesex Hospital Medical School, on the isolation of electrocortin (later Reference: GC/224. 1 box. renamed aldosterone), 1952-1959; abstracts of the letters, with explanatory notes; reprints. Timothy E. Powell J.F. and S.A.S. Tait NCUACS 128/1/04 OBITUARIES AND CURRICULA VITAE Obituaries of S.A.S. Tait The Times, 31 March 2003 Independent, by J.P. Coghlan and G.P. Vinson, 12 March 2003 Daily Telegraph, 26 March 2003 Curriculum vitae of S.A.S. Tait Includes list of publications. Curriculum vitae of J.F. Tait Includes list of publications. J.F. and S.A.S. Tait NCUACS 128/1/04 ‘A QUARTET OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES’ 195pp typescript of unpublished book. |. Introduction Chapter II. Research on the structure of DNA, particularly at King’s College London Chapter Ill. Aspects of the early history of aldosterone, particularly at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School (MHMS) 2 folders. Chapter IV. Studies on oral contraceptives, particularly at the Biology (WFEB) Experimental Foundation Worcester for V. The of analysis, discovery saturation General acknowledgements and references Chapter particularly at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School Chapter VI. Recent personal research and Chapter VII. General conclusions 2 folders. B.9, B.10 Figures J.F. and S.A.S. Tait NCUACS 128/1/04 OTHER BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL ‘Vaccination ‘photograph 51’ of DNA News’ webpages on the credit due for J.F. Tait’s discovery of aldosterone is mentioned, as is his stress on the role played by R. Gosling in the elucidation of DNA structure. tribute Copy of from programme of International Symposium on Aldosterone, Royal Society, London, 27-30 April 2003 Sylvia Tait to with Interview Medicine, Harvard Medical School and President of the Endocrine Society, on aldosterone Professor of Williams, G.H. 6pp typescript. This interview took place during the 85th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, Philadelphia, USA, 18-22 June 2003. It marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Taits’ discovery of aldosterone and reference is made to this in the interview.