Sylvia Agnes Sophia Tait


Died aged 86

Sylvia Agnes Sophia Tait (8 January 1917 – 28 February 2003) (née Wardropper, known as Sylvia Simpson from 1941 to 1956) was an English biochemist and endocrinologist. She worked with her second husband, James Francis Tait, from 1948 until her death in 2003, a partnership described by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as "one of the most successful examples of husband-wife scientific collaboration". Together, they discovered and identified the hormone aldosterone, the last of a series of naturally occurring biologically potent steroid hormones to be isolated and identified between the 1920s to the 1950s, after the androgens, oestrogens, and glucocorticoid hormones. Aldosterone is part of the mechanism that regulates blood pressure, and causes conservation of sodium, secretion of potassium, increased water retention, and increased blood pressure. It is thought to be responsible for 15 per cent of cases of high blood pressure.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

It was at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School that the hormone Aldosterone, essential for life, was first discovered in 1952 by James F Tait, Sylvia A Simpson, Hilary M Grundy

Courtauld Building, 33 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, London, United Kingdom where they was