Landmark Papers in Nephrology

by John Feehally, Christopher McIntyre, J. Stewart Cameron

Landmarks in Nephrology points the reader to some of the seminal observations which have led to the practice of nephrology as we know it today.

Twenty areas of nephrology are covered by discrete chapters, with the editors selecting the ten most important papers ever published in that field. These range from observational and experimental studies from the 18th century, which laid the groundwork for our current understanding of the kidney, through to recent randomized controlled clinical trials. The papers also reflect the emergence of nephrology as a speciality in the last fifty years, stimulated particularly by the introduction of renal biopsy and the development of dialysis and transplantation as effective forms of renal replacement therapy. For each paper, there is a succinct commentary which highlights the importance of the work in its historical context, as well as a recommended reading section to encourage the interested reader to explore further.

It is of course a near-impossible task to choose only two hundred papers from the whole oeuvre of nephrology. However, these chosen few are undoubtedly among the great landmarks of nephrology, reflecting the varying coincidences of brilliance, persistence, and good fortune which are necessary for progress in medical science. Encompassing the breadth, range and depth of the intellectual journey which precedes us in the development of nephrology, they provide a telling illustration of Sir Isaac Newton’s words to Robert Hooke in 1675: ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’.

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