|Description||The Laboratory was first set up in 1921 under the direction of Jonathan Meakins, University of Edinburgh Christison Professor of Therapeutics. It was to have the dual role of conducting routine work for the clinical staff of the Infirmary and providing Meakins and his assistants with facilities for research work. During the 1920s Meakins gradually made the Laboratory indispensable in the management of various medical conditions. The introduction of insulin in 1923 helped this development as testing blood for sugar became essential practice. The Laboratory was also successful in getting grants from the Medical Research Council and conducted research into physiological theories and techniques.|
In February 1923 Richard Pearce, the Director of Medical Education from the Rockefeller Foundation visited Edinburgh. He was interested in finding University controlled projects that could benefit from Rockefeller funding. He was impressed with Meakins and felt that advancing his programme would be the best use of funds with the hope that Meakins may gain the Chair of Medicine in the future. Pearce was adept at negotiating with the University, steering them towards building up professorial teaching, eliminating non-university teachers and creating more laboratory facilities. In October 1923 his negotiations came to fruition with the University agreeing to a new clinical laboratory, a new Chair of Therapeutics abd a full-time Chair of Surgery.
[Source: 'The Trojan Horse: The biochemical laboratory of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh 1921-39' by C J Lawrence, CJ Wellcome Trust Review 1999].
Contents: Minutes, correspondence, annual reports, accounts etc from a scrapbook of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Bio-Chemical Laboratory, 1920-1946