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Dr. K. Mellanby, O. B. E

Nature volume 159, page 702 (24 May 1947) | Download Citation



DR. K. MELLAKBY, who has been announced as principal designate of the new University College which it is proposed to establish in Nigeria, has had a varied career. Trained at Cambridge as a zoologist, he devoted himself in the years before the War to the study of insect physiology. First, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and in Uganda he did illuminating work on the water relations of insects. As Sorby Research Fellow of the Royal Society he transferred to Sheffield and studied particularly the adaptation of insects to cold, both in the laboratory and in the field-in arctic Finland. At the outbreak of the War, Dr. Mellanby's organising ability became apparent. A survey of the incidence of head-lice among children in fever hospitals throughout the country gave the first accurate picture of the distribution of pediculosis in Britain. Dr. Mellanby then turned to the scabies problem. Enlisting the co-operation of a team of 'conscientious objectors' to serve as experimental subjects, he was able to carry out a fine scientific and practical study of scabies which placed our knowledge of the' incidence and spread of the itch mite and the efficacy of the various treatments on a really sound basis. The well-known film of this work was a valuable piece of propaganda.

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