James Francis Tait - Bibliography from James Francis Tait. 1 December 1925 — 7 February 2014
2018-09-03T13:00:15Z (GMT) by
James F. Tait FRS, with his wife Sylvia A. S. Tait FRS, made an indelible contribution to life science and medicine with the isolation and characterization of aldosterone, the most potent mineralocorticoid hormone produced by the mammalian adrenal cortex.Trained as a physicist, Tait turned to endocrinology during his first academic appointment at the Medical School of the Middlesex Hospital in London, where he met Sylvia. Their collaboration resulted in this major achievement within five years of his appointment, and they were both elected to fellowships of the Royal Society in 1959, when James was just 34. Shortly afterwards the Taits moved to the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Massachusetts, where he virtually created the study of hormone dynamics, using sophisticated techniques involving isotopically labelled hormone infusions. Many of his most highly cited papers stem from this period. In 1970 the Taits returned to the Middlesex Hospital, when he was appointed to the Joel Chair of Physics as Applied to Medicine. Here they continued studies on aldosterone and other adrenal steroids, using animal cell models. He continued to be active after retiring in 1982, and published a history of aldosterone in 2009. As a hobby he made a magnificent photographic record of the churches and abbeys of Yorkshire. Although, initially, recognition of aldosterone's clinical significance was slow, today it is thought that 10% of the incidence of essential hypertension is attributable to excess aldosterone. Aldactone, the earliest aldosterone antagonist, as well as more recently developed blockers, have proved effective in congestive heart failure. Sixty years after its discovery, aldosterone remains a rich and dynamic research field.