Rosalind Venetia Fox Pitt-Rivers (Henley) (1907 - 1990)

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Death: Died
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About Rosalind Venetia Fox Pitt-Rivers (Henley)

Rosalind Venetia Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers, née Rosalind Venetia Henley (4 March 1907 – 14 January 1990) was a biochemist and Fellow of the Royal Society.

Life and work

She was born on 4 March 1907 in London, the eldest daughter of the Hon. Anthony Morton Henley (1873–1925), a Captain in the 5th Lancers, and his wife the Hon. Sylvia Laura Stanley (1882–1980). Her father was the third son of Lord Henley and her mother the daughter of Lord Stanley of Alderley. She was educated at home and later at Notting Hill High School. Her interest in chemistry began at the age of twelve when an uncle gave her a chemistry set. She later studied at Bedford College where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science in 1930 and an MSc in 1931.

In 1931 she married George Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers (1890–1966) and gave birth to a son, George Anthony, in 1932. Only after she separated from Pitt-Rivers in 1937 did she return to study and gained a PhD in Biochemistry from University College medical school in 1939.

She joined the scientific staff of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in 1942, later becoming head of the Division of Chemistry. She retired in 1972.

Her discovery of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine with Jack Gross and publication of their findings in The Lancet in 1952 brought international recognition. In 1973 she was made a fellow of Bedford College, London, in 1983 an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and in 1986 an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

Her publications with Jamshed Tata include The Thyroid Hormones (1959); The Chemistry of Thyroid Diseases (1960); and (with W. R. Trotter) The Thyroid Gland (1964