Sherlock, Sheila (1918–2001)

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Sherlock, Sheila (1918–2001)

British physician and educator. Name variations: Dame Sheila Sherlock. Born Sheila Patricia Violet Sherlock, Mar 31, 1918, in Dublin, Ireland; died Dec 30, 2001, in London, England; graduate of Edinburgh University, 1941; m. Geraint James (physician), 1951; children: 2 daughters.

One of the founders of modern hepatology, who pioneered the study of liver disease, began career as clinical assistant to Sir James Learmonth in Edinburgh; moved to London; worked as Beit Research fellow at Hammersmith Hospital (1942–47), before attending Yale University on Rockefeller fellowship; served as professor of medicine at London's Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (1959–83), the 1st woman professor of medicine in UK; pioneered use of percutaneous liver biopsy and was one of the first to appreciate importance of immunological mechanisms in pathogenesis of cirrhosis and hepatitis; wrote Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System (1954), which ran to 11 editions and has been translated into several languages; was also the 1st woman to serve as vice-president of Royal College of Physicians. Named Dame of British Empire (DBE, 1978); elected fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh (1989) and fellow of Royal Society (2000).