The Rhesus Factor and Disease Prevention

The Rhesus Factor and Disease Prevention

The prevention of rhesus disease of the newborn is a stunning medical success story. This disease afflicted thousands of newborns each year, causing serious health problems, even death. Yet from the early 1940s to the 1970s – British and American researchers uncovered the basis of the disease and developed the medical intervention that could prevent its occurrence. Many of the key steps leading to this remarkable achievement took place at the University of Liverpool School of Medicine.

Chaired by Professor Sir David Weatherall, this Witness Seminar examines the factors that triggered these studies and the challenges that confronted scientists and clinicians; the intellectual, institutional, and social factors that guided the work; the crucial insights; and the vistas that the prevention of rhesus disease has opened in fetal medicine.

Participants include Professor Robin Coombs, the late Professor Ronald Finn, Dr Nevin Hughes-Jones, Professor Patrick Mollison, Dr Archie Norman, Dr Derrick Tovey, Professor Charles Whitfield, Professor John Woodrow and Professor Doris Zallen.

Introduction by Professor Doris T Zallen, 120pp,biographical notes, glossary and index.

Zallen, D T, Christie D A, Tansey E M. (eds) (2004) The Rhesus factor and disease prevention, Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine, vol. 22. London: The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. ISBN 978 0 85484 099 1