Tag Archives: Medicine

Reincarnation or Atavism in the Iron Field? By Ioav Cabantchik


The medieval practice of bloodletting was based on the Moslem medical writers who emphasized revulsion (bleeding from a site located as far from the ailment as possible). This position was attacked in 1514 by Pierre Brissot (1478-1522), a Paris physician, who stressed the importance of bleeding near the locus of the disease (derivative bleeding). He was declared a medical heretic by the Paris Faculty of Medicine and derivative bleeding was forbidden by an act of the French parliament. In 1518, Brissot was exiled to Spain and Portugal. In 1539, the celebrated anatomist, Andreas Vesalius, continued the controversy with his famous Venesection Letter, which came to the support of Brissot“. 

From T.A. Appel and A.B. Davis  “Bloodletting Instruments in the National Museum of History and Technology” 1–103, 1979  https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.41.1

That venesection runs in the veins of our Pierre Brissot (former President of Bioiron and leading authority in hemochromatosis) may not come as a surprise to our members, but is the profession an hereditary trait or is that an atavistic feature of PR?….

In fact, Pierre Brissot is not only aware of his distinguished ancestry profession but also shared that information publically in his recently published historical article in the Revue du Praticien ( Vol. 67 _ Décembre 2017 ) titled “LA SAIGNÉE EN MÉDECINE : une très longue histoire qui n’est pas encore terminée”  (“Bleeding in medicine: a very long story that is not over yet”).


Post-doctoral Fellow – University of Oxford

A two-year post-doctoral research fellow position is available in the Drakesmith lab at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford.


With the support of an unrestricted grant from the pharmaceutical industry, the University of Oxford has driven the development of HIRO (Human Iron Research in Oxford), a cross-divisional initiative serving to link clinicians and scientists with an interest in iron research across the Oxford campuses; HIRO is led by Dr John Ryan and Prof Hal Drakesmith. Reporting to the Principal Investigator and the HIRO steering committee, the post holder will be the HIRO Fellow, a member of a research group with responsibility for carrying out studies on human-focussed translational iron research for patient benefit. The Drakesmith group is sited within the MRC Human Immunology Unit at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. We have a strong track record in the field of iron metabolism with a specific interest in how iron trafficking interacts with infection, inflammation, immunology and anaemia. This specific project will build on published and unpublished ongoing studies relating to how iron availability controls inflammation and immunity and will involve interaction with academic groups within and beyond Oxford. The post holder provides guidance to junior members of the research group including research assistants, PhD students, and/or project volunteers. The post-holder will also work to connect the other HIRO-funded projects within the University of Oxford.

Please find further details of the position and how to apply here.