Timeline of endocrinology
|Time period||Development summary|
|19th century||The field of endocrinology begins to be studied late in the century, when the concept of chemical messengers that exert systemic effects throughout the entire body is initially introduced.|
|20th century||The 1910s and 1920s are considered the era of purification of hormones. The 1930s is the era of steroid hormone discovery, the 1940s is the era of endocrine disease, description and therapeutic advances, the 1950s is the era of synthetic hormone production, the 1960s and 1970s is the era of releasing hormones and hormone receptor signaling pathways, 1980s is the era of peptide hormone gene cloning and advent of recombinant hormone therapy, the 1990s is the era of hormone and soluble factor production by many tissues.|
|21st century||The 2000s is the era of genetics and endocrine physiology and disease, the 2010s is the era of integration of endocrine physiology and pathophysiology.|
|4th century BC||Scientific development||The Ayur Veda of Susruta describes "sugarcream" urine which attracts ants.||India|
|30 BC–50 AD||Scientific development||Greek philosopher Celsus describes polyuria.|
|1563||Scientific development||Italian anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachi publishes his Opuscula Anatomica, which contains the first description of the adrenal glands, labeled “glandulae quae renibus incumbent”.||Italy|
|1567||Medical development||Dutch physician Johannes Wier publishes the first attempt at a medical description of the pituitary disorder.|
|1586–1588||Scientific development||Piccolomineus and Bauhin mention the suprarenal glands.|
|1621–1675||Scientific development||English doctor Thomas Willis observes the sweetness of diabetic urine which has a honied taste.||United Kingdom|
|1627||Scientific development||Flemish anatomist Adriaan van den Spiegel talks of the capsulae renales.|
|1651||Scientific development||Highmore suggests that the suprarenals have an absorbent function of exudates from the large vessels.|
|1742||Scientific development||French doctor Joseph Lieutaud discovers the pituitary-portal blood system, known today as the hypothalamo-hypophysial axis.|
|1805||Scientific development||French naturalist Georges Cuvier defines medulla and cortex of the adrenal gland.||France|
|1838||Scientific development||German anatomist Martin Rathke becomes the first to describe the formation of the pituitary gland itself. Rathke describes the human hypophysis cerebri as being derived from two parts: an ectodermal dorsal invagination of the oral epithelium, which becomes the adenohypophysis, and a ventral process arising from the floor of the diencephalon, constituting the neurohypophysis or posterior pituitary gland.||Germany|
|1838||Scientific development||Scottish physician Robert Willis describes several forms of DI ("hydruria", "anazoturia", and "azoturia") according to associated excretion of urea.|
|1855||Scientific development||English physician Thomas Addison talks "On the constitutional and local effects of disease of the suprarenal capsules".||United Kingdom|
|1856||Scientific development||Mauritian physiologist Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard proves in animal experiments that the adrenals are essential for the maintenance of life.|
|1856||Scientific development||French physician Alfred Vulpian introduces the staining method for adrenaline.||France|
|1865||Scientific development||French physiologist Claude Bernard publishes An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine, which introduces the concept of milieu interieur (internal milieu) and the importance of endocrine systems in keeping this constant.||France|
|1885||Scientific development||Claude Bernard coins the term ‘internal secretion’, showing that the body can both break down and build up, complex chemical substances.||France|
|1894||Scientific development||English physiologist Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer discovers and demonstrates the existence of adrenaline together with George Oliver, and he also coins the term "endocrine" for the secretions of the ductless glands. Schafer's method of artificial respiration is named after him.||United Kingdom|
|1895||Scientific development||Adrenaline becomes the first hormone to be isolated.|
|1896||Scientific development||Osler finds orally given adrenal extract temporarily effecive in the case of Addison's disease.|
|1901 – 1908||Scientific development||Schaefer and his team study the action of pituitary extract on the kidneys.|
|1901||Scientific development||Japanese chemist Takamine Jōkichi isolates adrenaline in crystalline form from the adrenal medulla.||Japan|
|1902||Scientific development||British physiologists Ernest Starling and William Bayliss isolate secretin, the first substance to be called a hormone.||United Kingdom|
|1902||Scientific development||Bayliss and Starling report on their discovery of "secretin" in the duodenum.|
|1902||Scientific development||Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov develops a theory of nerve regulation of salivary and alimentary glands, and includes the regulation of the pancreas in his theory.||Russia|
|1904||Scientific development||Ernest Starling and William Bayliss develop the theory of hormonal control of internal secretion.||United Kingdom|
|1905||Medical development||William Bulloch and JH Sequeira describe patients with adrenogenital syndrome.|
|1905–1906||Scientific development||Edkin describes gastric secretin.|
|1906||Scientific development||Dale describes the oxytocic action of posterior pituitary extract.|
|1910||Scientific development||Hungarian pathologist Arthur Biedl shows that the adrenal cortex is essential for life. His classic work Innere Sekretion (Internal Secretions) shows the rapid development of the knowledge of endocrinology.|
|1912||Literature||Harvey Cushing publishes The Pituitary Body and its Disorders, showcasing the innovative operative techniques that would lead to odern surgical procedures to remove pituitary tumors.|
|1914||Scientific development||American biochemist Edward Calvin Kendall isolates thyroxine in crystalline form.||United States|
|1914||Scientific development||German physician Morris Simmonds describes pituitary cachexia (Simmonds' disease) due to infraction of the gland.||Germany|
|1915||Scientific development||American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon shows the close connection between the endocrine glands and the emotions.|
|1915||Scientific development||Gaines demonstrates pituitary function in lactation.|
|1915||Scientific development||Keeton and Koch confirm the specific nature of gastrin.|
|1916||Scientific development||Erdheim describes pituitary dwarfism ("Nanosomia pituitaria").|
|1916||Organization||The Endocrine Society is founded. It is a professional, international medical organization in the field of endocrinology and metabolism.||United States|
|1917||Literature (journal)||Scientific journal Endocrinology is launched by the Endocrine Society.||United States|
|1919||Scientific development||Edward Calvin Kendall obtains pure thyroxine.|
|1920||Scientific development||American anatomist Herbert McLean Evans and Professor Joseph Long discover the human growth hormone.||United States|
|1921||Scientific development||Evans and Long show the effect of anterior lobe extract on the growth rate of rats.|
|1921||Scientific development||Frederick Banting and John Mcleod and Charles Best succeeded in lowering the level of blood-sugar when using insulin to control the carbohydrate metabolism.|
|1923||Award||Canadian medical scientist Frederick Banting and John Mcleod are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery of insulin.|
|1923||Organization||The American Thyroid Association is founded. It is a non-profit, all-volunteer professional organization with over 1,700 members from 43 countries around the world.||United States|
|1923||Medical development||American pharmaceutical Eli Lilly and Company introduces the first commercial insulin.||United States|
|1925||Scientific development||Canadian biochemist James Collip isolates parathyroid hormone and uses it in the treatment of tetany.|
|1926||Scientific development||British chemist Charles Harington successfully synthesizes thyroxine.||United Kingdom|
|1926||Scientific development||Foster and P.E. Smith find that atrophy of the thyroid and lowered BMR in hypophysectomized animals could be restored by using pituitary homoplastic implants. In the same year, Smith shows that hypophysectomy causes atrophy of the adrenals, which Evans prevents by administration of pituitary extracts.|
|1927||Scientific development||P.E. Smith and Engle demonstrate that gonadal activity is maintained by the anterior lobe of the pituitary.|
|1928||Scientific development||Israeli gynecologist Bernhard Zondek and German gynecologist Selmar Aschheim isolate the gonadotrophic hormones (prolan A and B) of the anterior pituitary.|
|1929||Scientific development||Walter Bradford Cannon coins the term "homeostasis" for "same" and "steady". This important concept highlights the critical role of negative feedback in governing endocrine physiology.|
|1929||Scientific development||Putnam, Benedict and Teel produce experimental acromegaly in dogs by anterior lobe extract injection.|
|1929||Scientific development||Stricker and Grueter discover prolactin.|
|1929||Scientific development||Carl Ferdinand Cori and Gerty Cori propose the theory of the Cori Cycle, which refers to the phases in the metabolism of carbohydrates in which muscles convert glycogen to lactic acid.|
|1929||Scientific development||Adolf Butenandt and American biochemist Edward Adelbert Doisy isolate estrone simultaneously but independently.||Germany, United States|
|1929||Scientific development||Aron and, independently, Loeb and Basset describe the action of thyroid-stimulating hormone of the anterior pituitary.|
|1930||Scientific development||Argentine physiologist Bernardo Houssay proves the diabetogenic effect of extracts from the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. Houssay and Biasotti succeed in removing the pancreas in the hypophysectomized dog.||Argentina|
|1930||Medical development||Rowntree and Greene successfully treat a patient with Addison's disease with Swingle and Pfiffner's extract.|
|1931||Scientific development||German biochemist Adolf Butenandt isolates the androgenic steroid androsterone.||Germany|
|1932||Scientific development||Cushing connects the "polyglandular syndrome" of pituitary basophilism with pituitary-adrenal hyperactivity.|
|1932||Scientific development||Anderson and Collip describe the thyrotrophic hormone (TSH) of the anterior pituitary.|
|1933||Medical development||Loeb treats the abnormal serum electrolytes in Addison's disease with sodium chloride.|
|1933||Scientific development||American biologist Oscar Riddle and colleagues identify and isolate the pituitary hormone prolactin.||United States|
|1933||Scientific development||Collip and his team isolate an impure "adrenotropic hormone".|
|1934||Scientific development||American endocrinologist Fuller Albright suggests a relationship between chronic renal disease and hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), in which an intrinsic abnormality of the parathyroid glands leads to overproduction of parathyroid hormone (PTH). In the following years, Albright would describe the biochemistry of primary hyperparathyroidism and kidney stones as one of the important diagnostic features.||United States|
|1934||Scientific development||Butenandt isolates progesterone from the corpus luteum.|
|1935||Scientific development||Dutch biochemist Ernst Laqueur in Amsterdam isolates testosterone, and determines its chemical structure.||Netherlands|
|1935||Scientific development||American chemist Edward Calvin Kendall first isolates Compound E (later renamed cortisone) from bovine adrenal glands along with a series of structurally related steroids (including cortisol, then named compound F) capable of improving muscular strength when administered to adrenalectomised rats or dogs.||United States|
|1935–1953||Scientific development||Austrian pathologist Friedrich Feyrter in Danzig describes the pheriferal paracrine endocrine glands in man. Feyrter is often described as the "Father of Neuroendocrinology".|
|1936||Scientific development||Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye introduces the concept of stress.|
|1936||Scientific development||Evans and his group isolate the interstitial cell stimulating hormone (ICSH).|
|1937||Scientific development||Croatian-Swiss scientist Leopold Ružička, German biochemist Adolf Butenandt and Gunicr Hanisch synthesize testosterone from cholesterol.|
|1937||Scientific development||F.G. Young describes the diabetogenic hormone.|
|1937||Scientific development||Lambie and Trikojus obtain purified thyroid-stimulating hormone.|
|1939||Award||The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is divided equally between Adolf Butenandt "for his work on sex hormones" and Leopold Ružička "for his work on polymethylenes and higher terpenes.|
|1939||Scientific development||Sheehan in Liverpool describes panhypopituitarism caused by pituitary necrosis after post-partum hemorrhage.|
|1940||Scientific development||Choh Hao Li isolates luteinizing hormone (LH).|
|1941||Literature (journal)||The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology is launched.|
|1942||Scientific development||American endocrinologist Harry Klinefelter, Fuller Albright and Edward C. Reifenstein describe the later called Klinefelter syndrome in their article, Syndrome Characterized by Gynecomastia, Aspermatogenesis without A-Leydigism, and Increased Excretion of Follicle- Stimulating Hormone.||United States|
|1942||Scientific development||Li and Sayers isolate the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).|
|1943||Scientific development||Choh Hao Li and Evans isolate pure adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) from sheep pituitaries.|
|1943||Medical development||Bermudian-American endocrinologist Edwin B. Astwood uses thiourea and thiouracil in the medical treatment of Grave's disease.|
|1943||Scientific development||Sayers isolate ACTH from swine pituitaries.|
|1946||Scientific development||Hans Selye describes the general adaptation syndrome.|
|1946||Organization||The Society for Endocrinology is founded. It is an international membership organization, supporting scientists, clinicians and nurses who work with hormones throughout their careers.||United Kingdom|
|1947||Award||The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to American biochemists Carl and Gerty Cori "for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen", and to Argentine biochemist Bernardo Houssay "for his discovery of the part played by the hormone of the anterior pituitary lobe in the metabolism of sugar."|
|1948||Scientific development||Hench and his colleagues discover the antiinflamatory effect of cortisone (Kendall's compound-E).|
|1949||Scientific development||Choh Hao Li and Evans isolate follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).|
|1949||Scientific development||Edward Calvin Kendall discovers that cortisone could relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.|
|1950||Award||Edward Calvin Kendall, Polish-Swiss chemist Tadeus Reichstein and American physician Philip Showalter Hench are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects."||Sweden|
|1950||Scientific development||American pediatric endocrinologist Lawson Wilkins reports the first documented demonstration of the pathophysiology of androgen insensitivity syndrome by administration of methyltestosterone to a 46, XY female patient, who shows no signs of virilization.||United States|
|1951||Scientific development||Bulgarian-American chemist Carl Djerassi develops the first oral progestin, norethindrone, at Syntex, SA Laboratories located in Mexico City. The synthesis of norenindrone is a factor leading to the development of oral contraceptives.||Mexico|
|1951||Literature||L'Hermite publishes Le Cerveau et la Pensée, stressing the regulation of mental life by the hormones.|
|1953||Scientific development||American biochemist Vincent du Vigneaud synthesizes the first peptide hormone (oxytocin).||United States|
|1955||Award||Vincent du Vigneaud is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his work on biochemically important sulphur compounds, especially for the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone"."||Sweden|
|1955||Scientific development||E. Knobil and Roy O. Greep show that growth hormone extracts from monkeys are active in man and are species-specific.|
|1955||Scientific development||American surgeon Robert Milton Zollinger and E. H. Ellison describe the later called Zollinger–Ellison syndrome.|
|1956||Scientific development||Swiss clinical immunologist Deborah Doniach and British immunologist Ivan Roitt find that patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditiss have circulating autoantibodies reacting to thyroid self antigens.|
|1956||Scientific development||Adams and Purves recognize that patients with Graves’ disease have a serum factor defined as long-acting thyroid stimulator (LATS), later found to be an immunoglobulin G binding to the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor.|
|1956||Scientific development||Noel R. Rose and Ernst Witebsky demonstrate that a lymphocytic thyroiditis similar to the spontaneous human disease can be induced in animals by immunization with autologous thyroid extracts in Freund adjuvant. This would lead to the general concept of autoimmune gland failure.|
|1956||Scientific development||Cohn describes primary aldosteronism.|
|1957||Scientific development||Maurice S. Raben develops a method for the extraction of human growth hormone grom the pituitaries of cadavers.|
|1958||Medical development||American medical researcher Elwood V. Jensen discovers the estrogen receptor, the first receptor found for any hormone. Using a radioactive marker, Jensen shows that only the tissues that respond to estrogen, such as those of the female reproductive tract, are able to concentrate injected estrogen from the blood. This specific uptake suggests that these cells must contain binding proteins, which Jensen calls “estrogen receptors.”|
|1958||Award||Frederick Sanger recieves the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin".||Sweden|
|1958||Scientific development||John V. Verner and Ashton B. Morrison describe the watery diarrhoea hypokalaemic achlorhydric syndrome.|
|1958||Medical development||Gross suggests angiotensin to control aldosterone secretion.|
|1959||Scientific development||Liddle and his group develop the metyrapone test for pituitary reserve.|
|1959||Scientific development||Rasmussen and Craig isolate the parathyroid hormone and define its structure as a polypeptide hormone.|
|1961||Scientific development||Choh Hao Li, Dixon and Chung describe the amino acid sequence of bovine adrenocorticopin.|
|1963||Scientific development||Glick, Roth, Berson and Yallow describe a radioimmunological assay (RIA) method for the measurement of human GH.|
|1963||Scientific development||Hirsch finds calcitonin in the mammal thyroid.|
|1964||Award||British chemist Dorothy Hodgkin is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances". Hodgkin's most significant scientific contributions are the determination of the structures of penicillin, insulin, and vitamin B12.||Sweden|
|1965||Organization||The European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) is founded in Copenhagen.||Denmark|
|1965||Scientific development||Tenenhouse finds that the hypocalcaemic factor (calcitonin) is a polypeptide hormone.|
|1966||Scientific development||Schwyzer and Sieber synthesize beta-corticotrophim.|
|1966||Scientific development||British physiologist Roderic Alfred Gregory isolates gastrin and defines its structure.|
|1966||Award||Canadian-American physician Charles Brenton Huggins is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discoveries concerning hormonal treatment of prostatic cancer".||Sweden|
|1967||Scientific development||Immunological methods are introduced for the estimation of serum calcitonin.|
|1969||Scientific development||Group led by French-born American neuroscientist Roger Guillemin and another by American endocrinologist Andrew Schally announce that the hypothalamic substance that causes the anterior pituitary gland to release thyrotropin (thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH) is L-pyroglutamyL-L-histidyl-L-prolineamide (L-pGlu-L-His-L-ProNH2). This tripeptide is now called thyrotropin-releasing hormone.|
|1969||Scientific development||A. G. Everson Pearse introduces the amine uptake and peptide hormone secretion (APUD) concept.|
|1970||Scientific development||Lewis E. Braverman, Sidney H. Ingbar, and Kenneth Sterling demonstrate T4 to T3 conversion in periphery.|
|1970||Award||Argentine physician Luis Federico Leloir is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his discovery of sugar nucleotides and their role in the biosynthesis of carbohydrates."||Sweden|
|1970||Scientific development||Mitchell and colleagues introduce the glucagon stimulation test to detect Growth hormone deficiency.|
|1971||Award||American pharmacologist Earl Wilbur Sutherland Jr. is awarded the Nobel Prize n Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries concerning "the mechanisms of the action of hormones".||Sweden|
|1971||Scientific development||Hughes, Kosterlitz and colleagues determine the structure of the thyroid-stimulating hormone.|
|1971–1975||Scientific development||Hughes, Kosterlitz and colleagues identify the pentapeptides from the brain to posses potent opiate agonist activity.|
|1971–1979||Scientific development||Present day ideas on the mechanism of hormonal action are formulated.|
|1972-1978||Medical development||Screening begins for neonatal congenital hypothyroidism in the United States, Canada, England, Japan and some other countries. In most cases of congenital hypothyroidism, problems with the thyroid start in the womb.||United States, Canada, England, Japan|
|1975||Scientific development||A.F. Bradbury, D.G. Smyth and C.R. Snell isolate beta-endorphin and describe its structure.|
|1977||Award||Roger Guillemin and Andrew V. Schally share half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the peptide hormone production of the brain" with the other half awarded to Rosalyn Yalow "for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones."||Sweden|
|1978||Medical development||Louise Brown becomes the world’s first test tube baby. After numerous attempts to impregnate her mother, British medical researcher Robert Edwards and British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe tried fertilizing her eggs in a Petri dish before implanting a two-and-a-half-day-old embryo.||United Kingdom|
|1978||Scientific development||German neuropharmacologist Wilhelm Siegmund Feldberg reports on the pharmacology of the central actions of endorphins.|
|1979||Organization||The Max Planck Institute of Experimental Endocrinology is founded.|
|1980||Literature (book)||"First published in 1980, Endocrine Reviews is an enduring and high impact factor resource. Comprehensive reviews cover clinical and research topics, including thyroid disorders, pediatric endocrinology, growth factors, and reproductive medicine. Each issue provides translational and basic research articles with knowledge, understanding, and perspective in diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism."|
|1982||Award||Sune Bergström, Bengt I. Samuelsson and John Vane share the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related biologically active substances".||Sweden|
|1986||Award||American biochemist Stanley Cohen and Italian neurobiologist Rita Levi-Montalcini are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of growth factors". The nerve growth factor and epidermal growth factor are the first of many growth-regulating signal substances to be discovered and characterized.||Sweden|
|1987||Literature (journal)||Peer-reviewed journal Molecular Endocrinology is first issued.|
|1987||Scientific development||William I. Wood clones the growth hormone receptor.|
|1988||Scientific development||Theo Colborn's research on the state of the environment of the Great Lakes reveals that top predator female birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles transfer persistent, man-made chemicals to their offspring, which undermines the development and programming of their youngsters’ organs before they are born or hatched.|
|1990||Scientific development||English physician David Barker proposes the concept later called Barker Hypothesis, suggesting that in utero environmental conditions, such as undernutrition, can permanently alter metabolism and other functions in ways that dramatically affect health later in life and cause e.g., heart disease. This concept would be expanded to include chemical exposures such as EDCs and is called the Developmental Origins of Adult Health and Disease (DOHaD).|
|1991||Scientific development||The term “Endocrine Disruption” is first used.|
|1992||Scientific development||Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are shown to affect cognitive function in children. Jacobson et. al., link PCB exposure to impairment in cognitive functioning and show that impairments are predominantly due to developmental, intrauterine exposure, rather than postnatal effects.|
|1994||Scientific development||American molecular geneticist Jeffrey M. Friedman discovers leptin.|
|1996||Literature (book)||Dianne Dumanoski and John Peterson Myers Our Stolen Future, which describes the low-dose and/or ambient exposure effects of endocrine disruptors.|
|1997||Organization||The Endocrine Society establishes the Hormone Foundation as a public education affiliate.|
|1998||Award||American biochemist Robert F. Furchgott, American pharmacologist Louis J. Ignarro and American physician Ferid Murad are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system."||Sweden|
|2001||Literature||the Endocrine Society first publishes Endocrine News, a monthly news and feature magazine providing information on trends in the field of endocrinology as well as a closer look at recently published research.|
|2009||Scientific development||The Endocrine Society creates a task force charged with summarizing current knowledge about endocrine disrupting chemicals, including possible mechanisms of action and potential health risks. The task force’s work results in the landmark Scientific Statement on EDCs published in the same year. In 2015, the Endocrine Society published a second Scientific Statement on EDCs, building on the groundbreaking first statement and summarizing additional research connecting EDC exposures to infertility, hormone-related cancers, neurological issues, and other disorders."|
|2010||Literature (journal)||Medical journal Hormones and Cancer is first issued.|
|2010||Award||English physiologist Robert Edwards is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the development of in vitro fertilization.||Sweden|
|2012||Award||American physician Robert Lefkowitz and American physiologist Brian Kobilka are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors.||Sweden|
|2015||Scientific development||The Endocrine Society publishes a second Scientific Statement on endocrine disrupting chemicals, summarizing additional research connecting EDC exposures to infertility, hormone-related cancers, neurological issues, and other disorders.|
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