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Robert Bentley Todd

Drawing of Robert Bentley Todd a black-and-white portrait drawing of Todd from waist up showing him with greying and receding hairRobert Bentley Todd, Professor of Physiology, 1836-1859The eminent physiologist, Robert Bentley Todd (1809-1860), was instrumental in setting up King's College Hospital.

Todd was born in Dublin, the son of a distinguished Irish surgeon, and underwent his early training at Trinity College before relocating to London in 1831.

He lectured at the Aldersgate School of Medicine and Westminster Hospital before study at Pembroke College, Oxford. Todd then toured France, Belgium and Holland before receiving, in 1833, his licence from the College of Physicians.

He was appointed Professor of Physiology and Morbid Anatomy at King's College in 1836, in which position he was a distinguished advocate of the reform of medical education, in particular of nursing, helping to found the St John's House training institution in 1848.

Todd played a key role in establishing King's College Hospital, which opened in 1840, and remained as a clinical lecturer there until shortly before his death.

His contributions to medical science were considerable, not least in understanding the physiology of the brain, and owing to his editorship of the seminal, Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, published between 1835 and 1859. He died in 1860.

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