Diarmid Noel Paton

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Diarmid Noel Paton
37 Drummond Place, Edinburgh

Diarmid Noel Paton, FRS FRSE (19 March 1859 – 30 September 1928) was a Scottish physician and academic. From 1906 to 1928, he was the Regius Professor of Physiology at the University of Glasgow.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born at 37 Drummond Place[2] in Edinburgh's Second New Town, the son of the distinguished artist Joseph Noel Paton and his wife, Margaret Ferrier. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy then Paton studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, graduating BSc in 1880 and MB, CM, with first-class honours in 1882, he then spent a year studying in Vienna, Strasbourg and Paris before returning to Edinburgh where he gained his MD in 1885[3].


Paton was House Physician first at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and then at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. In 1884 he was awarded a Fellowship at Edinburgh University in the physiology department, which he held until 1889 when he was appointed director of the new research laboratory at the Royal College of Physicians,[4] he was interested in researching diabetes, rickets, and other issues surrounding nutrition. In 1886, Paton was appointed as lecturer in physiology at Surgeons' Hall. While Paton was the Superintendent of the College Laboratory, he devoted his time wholly to research and teaching, he became the first physiologist in Britain to devote serious study to issues surrounding the metabolism. He later became well known for his work on the relationship between poverty, nutrition and growth,[5] at this time he lived at 22 Lynedoch Place in Edinburgh's West End.[6]

He was appointed Regius Professor of Physiology at the University of Glasgow in 1906, at Glasgow, Paton continued his pioneering research on the metabolism and nutrition.[7] At Glasgow, Paton became widely known for his contributions to the understanding of rickets; in Glasgow he lived at 4 University Gardens.[8]

Paton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1886, his proposers were William Rutherford, Andrew Douglas Maclagan, Sir William Turner and Peter Guthrie Tait. He served as Vice President of the Society 1918 to 1921, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1914.[9]

He died whilst walking along the banks of the River Tweed near his home at Stobo in the Scottish Borders on 30 September 1928.[10]


In 1898 he married Agatha (Agate) Henrietta Balfour, they were parents to Donald Noel Paton and Olivia Campbell Paton.[11]


  1. ^ "Noel Paton". The University of Glasgow Story. University of Glasgow. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Edinburgh Post Offivce Directory 1859
  3. ^ Paton, Diarmid Noel (1885). On the relationship of urea formation to bile secretion (Thesis). University of Edinburgh. 
  4. ^ Comrie, John (1932). History of Scottish Medicine in Two Volumes. London: Bailliere, Tindall & Cox. 
  5. ^ McCrae, Morrice (2007). Physicians and Society: A History of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. 
  6. ^ Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1900
  7. ^ "Noel Paton". 
  8. ^ Glasgow Post Office Directory 1910
  9. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X. 
  10. ^ "DIARMID NOEL PATON, B.Sc., M.D., LL.D., F.R.S". Br Med J. 2: 679–80. 1928. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.3536.679. PMC 2456580Freely accessible. PMID 20774200. 
  11. ^ https://www.geni.com/people/Diarmid-Noel-Paton/4934675611840107485