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Desmond Beall - a Canadian's contribution to understanding rhabdomyolysis.

A pioneer in multiple areas of biochemical research, Desmond Beall made important contributions to Canadian medical history. His legacy laid the foundation for several modern scientific advances, extending from his doctoral work in Toronto on equine estrogen (which led to the development of conjugated estrogens) to landmark work on rhabdomyolysis during World War II. Though some theoretical understanding of the pathophysiology of traumatic rhabdomyolysis existed previously, Beall and his colleague Eric Bywaters substantially advanced this field of study with their publications on patients treated during the 1940 Blitz bombings. After the war, Beall shifted to working in industry and was able to translate his scientific advances into products affecting the lives of patients worldwide. Drawing from published works and personal communications with family members, this article is a memorial to a remarkable yet relatively unknown scientist.

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