William Roberts (physician)
|Sir William Roberts|
18 March 1830|
Bodedern, Anglesey, Wales
|Died||16 April 1899
Llanymawddwy, Merionethshire, Wales
Roberts was born on 18 March 1830 at Bodedern on the Isle of Anglesey the son of David and Sarah Roberts. He was educated at Mill Hill School and at University College, London, graduating with a BA in 1851.
After completion of his medical studies he was appointed a house surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He was appointed Professor of Medicine, Owens College, Manchester from 1863 to 1883. His particular research field was that of renal disease. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1877 and knighted in 1885.
Contribution to the discovery of penicillin
Between 1870 and 1874, Roberts studied the dissolution of bacteria in cultures contaminated by a mold. He specifically studied the impact of Penicillium glaucum, a close relative of the Penicillium notatum.
Coining of the term "enzyme"
Dietetics and Dyspepsia
In 1884, the publication of his "Dietetics and Dyspepsia" described "high feeding" and "low feeding": the diets of the upper and lower class. He speculated that diet was the reason for aristocratic capacity for intellectualism.
Royal Commission on Opium
When political pressure was brought against the British government's involvement in the Sino-Indian opium trade, the 1893–1895 Royal Commission on Opium was created to investigate the drug. Sir William Roberts was the medical expert on the commission.
He died in London on 16 April 1899, and was buried in Llanymawddwy, Merionethshire.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Power, D'Arcy (1901). "Roberts, William (1830-1899)". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.