July 27, 1881–June 4, 1949


THOMAS ADDIS was one of the early physician members of the National Academy of Sciences. As a physician-scientist, he had a distinctively quantitative and rigorous approach to clinical problems. His name is firmly connected to the study of kidney function and structure-function correlation and to the diagnosis and dietary treatment of the class of kidney disorders once collectively known as Bright's disease. During his life he developed a national and international reputation as a result of his research and his success in treating patients. His approach to diagnosis and treatment, however, never came into widespread clinical use and fell into almost total disuse in the United States soon after his death. The application of dietary therapy in renal disease is currently enjoying a considerable renaissance, and Addis's work is being rediscovered and appreciated once more for its rigor and clarity.

[Statement by L.P., a friend and former patient of Tom Addis: Forty years ago I agreed to write the biographical memoir of Tom Addis. His widow, however, asked me not to include any mention of his political beliefs and activities. She said that she and her two children would not permit such mention, partly because of their fear for their own safety. This was at the start of the McCarthy period. I

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