Crichton Royal - 1930s and 40s
In 1954, when Dr Mayer Gross reached retiral age, he was appointed as Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychiatry at Birmingham University. Dr Alan Tait succeeded Gross as Director of Clinical Research and he in turn was succeeded by Dr Little. Dr Noble, a graduate biochemist, replaced John Walker who had left to take up his appointment as Chief Technician in Penzance. Gross recommended Dr Archie Todrick, a biochemist he met in Birmingham, for a post at the Crichton Laboratory. Todrick was appointed in 1955.
Todrick had been an army Chemical Warfare Staff Officer and had gained a PhD for studying the effect of nerve gas on brain enzymes. He had been working at the Department of Experimental Psychiatry at Birmingham University on the action of the hallucinogenic drug L.S.D. which had been shown to antagonise the action of the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxy tryptamine. He continued this research at the Crichton and this led to the investigation of the action of the recently introduced drugs for the treatment of schizoprenia and depression. He gave a paper at the Scottish Regional A.C.B. meeting in 1959 which included results of platelet 5-hydroxy tryptomine assays which Miss EF Marshall had performed from 1957 (platelets were used as a model of CNS behaviour.). He also carried out studies with the psychiatrists including serum cortisol levels in female depressives and ascorbic acid and thyroxine levels in geriatric patients. (ref: 61, 148 & ACB News Sheet no 25, & no 348)
By 1975, the routine work load and some of the the technical staff had been transferred to the expanding Area Laboratory at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, leaving Todrick and Girling to concentrate on the measurement of drugs used in the treatment of epileptic and psychiatric patients (especially lithium and chlorpromazine). Todrick retired in 1977 and died in his eightieth year on 2nd Feb., 1992. Girling took charge of the laboratory until his successor was appointed in 1982. (ref: 61)
In 1982 Dr McCreadie was appointed as Director of Clinical Research on the retirement of Dr Little. Mr David Wiles was appointed as Principal Biochemist. Wiles had gained experience in the analysis of drugs in biological fluids when at the M.R.C Unit attached to Oxford University. The laboratory was extensively improved and re-equipped under his direction. Methods developed for a wide range of anti-epileptic, anti-depressive and psycotropic drugs and a therapeutic drug monitoring and screening service for drugs associated with overdose and addiction was established for the Area. (ref: 61)
Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary
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