Dr. Bill Frankland, a renowned allergist – and Britain’s oldest active scientist — recently celebrated his 100th birthday. To mark the occasion, he shared some of his career’s most memorable moments with theUK Telegraph.
According to Dr. Frankland, he once got a call to treat Saddam Hussein for an allergy. He gave theTelegraphthe following account of the experience: “I got a call [in 1979] to see the new president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. They told me he had an allergy and he was being treated with various desensitising injections. But he wasn’t allergic at all; his problem was that he was smoking 40 cigarettes a day. I told him to stop and if he wouldn’t I would refuse to come and see him again. I don’t think anyone had spoken to him like that before.”
Over his career, Dr. Frankland helped to revolutionize the medical study of allergens. He was the researcher who pioneered the view that allergic reactions are caused by a malfunctioning immune system, a view that is now widely accepted within the scientific community. He summarized the way allergies work by telling theTelegraph”Allergy is immunity gone wrong.” He and his colleagues also pioneered treatments using small doses of an allergen to retrain the immune system not to overreact.