Patrick Walsh


Advisor: Lynn Nyhart

Patrick Walsh


I am a historian of the modern life sciences and biomedical sciences, with a special interest in the history of endocrinology at the turn of the twentieth century. My dissertation tells the story of how the field of endocrinology emerged in the U.S. within the research and development departments of corporate laboratories. I start with the sensational days of Brown-Séquard in the late 1880s, and I carry through to the period of blockbuster hormone drugs in the interwar period. Through a close reading of company records, letters of correspondence, trade ephemera, and scientific and medical literature, I investigate how commercially minded laboratories made brand-new drugs from the glands, tissues and organs of animals. I patch together a network of physicians, scientists and company workers who were all invested in transforming a nascent and dubious field of medical science into an industry that could match the triumphs of bacteriology.


M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
B. A., (Honours)(Class I), University of Queensland (2017)
B. S. / B. A., University of Queensland (2016) 


  • History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

M.A. Title

  • “A Tale of Two Revolutions: Glands, Microbes and Filtration in French Endocrinology (1889-1900) “

Working Dissertation Title

  • “Glands on the Market: Endocrinology in America’s Bacteriological Age, 1889-1939 “

Selected Publications

  • Making a French Connection: Brown-Séquard, Darwin and the Epilepsy Studies.” Journal of the History of Biology (Published online September 7, 2021).
  • (review) Tamara Venit-Shelton. Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2019. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.
  • (review) James F. Stark, The Cult of Youth: Anti-ageing in Modern Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. Journal of the History of Biology 53, no. 3 (2020): 485-487.
  • “Experimenting with ‘Life’ in Nineteenth-Century Physiology: Brown-Séquard’s Method for Characterising Blood.” Australian Feminist Studies 34, no. 99 (2019): 73-92.

Courses Taught (as TA)

  • Science & Technology Studies 222– “Where Science Meets Society,” Prof. Daniel Williford, UW Madison (2021)
  • History of Science 133 – “Biology & Society, 1950—today,” Prof. Nicole Nelson, UW-Madison (2020)
  • History of Science 132 – “Bees, Trees, Germs and Genes,” Prof. Lynn Nyhart, UW-Madison (2019)
  • History of Science 201– “The Origins of Scientific Thought,” Prof. Florence Hsia, UW-Madison (2020)
  • History of Science 202 – The Making of Modern Science, UW Madison (2019)