Adrian, Edgar Douglas (1889-1977), 1st Baron Adrian, physiologist

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Adrian, Edgar Douglas (1889-1977), 1st Baron Adrian, physiologist

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Edgar Douglas Adrian was born on 30 November 1889, son of Alfred Douglas Adrian and his wife Flora, née Barton. He was educated at Westminster and admitted to Trinity College in 1908, becoming a Fellow in 1913 after studying Natural Sciences and Medicine. He finished his medical training at St Bartholemew’s Hospital and spent much of the war as a medical officer in Aldershot. Returning to Cambridge in 1919 he supervised Trinity Medical students and worked in the physiological laboratory. Later he became a Foulerton Research Professor of the Royal Society and in 1937 Professor of Physiology, a post he held until 1951.

Adrian’s mentor had been Keith Lucas, who died in the war, so Adrian first continued his studies, publishing a collection of Lucas’ lectures entitled ‘The Conduction of the Nervous Impulse’. Adrian then went on to undertake his pioneering work on the Central Nervous System that was to lead to the Nobel Prize in 1932.

Adrian was President of the Royal Society from 1950 to 1955 and became Master of Trinity in 1951 in succession to G M Trevelyan, holding the position until 1965. In 1955 he was elevated to the peerage. He died on 4 August 1977.


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Adrian, Dame Hester Agnes (1899-1966) mental health administrator and prison reformer (1899-1966)

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Adrian, Dame Hester Agnes (1899-1966) mental health administrator and prison reformer

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Adrian, Edgar Douglas (1889-1977), 1st Baron Adrian, physiologist

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Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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