1947 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award

Mammalian kydney regulatory mechanisms

Homer Smith is honored for his distinguished contributions in the fields of renal and vascular physiology.

His work falls into a unique and logical pattern. Early fundamental studies upon osmotic regulation in fish provided a basis for a masterly analysis of the available data in the formulation of a theory of the evolution of the mammalian kidney.

Within this framework, he has been led to a fruitful investigation of the specific activities by which the mammalian kidney performs its regulatory duties. Unalterably opposed to the "unphysiological preparation" in experimentation, he devised simple tests by which glomerular filtration rate, renal blood flow, and renal tubular capacities might be measured quantitatively without pain, operative procedures, or anesthesia.

These tools of investigation are applicable in the study of man, and under Dr. Smith's direction, they have been energetically employed in man in clarifying problems of renal function in health and disease.

These studies are masterpieces of clinical investigation, sparkling with new concepts, gracefully phrased and logically developed. They have thrown new light upon the problems of renal and cardiorenal diseases, which are at present the chief causes of death, and have provided the background for many future investigations in this important field of medicine and public health.

Homer Smith has also been prominent among those responsible for the physiological bearing of the current trend in medical thinking. In part this influence springs from the character of the man.

Modest, self-effacing, and consecrated to his work, he does not shun the fight for what he considers is right, fair, and just. In paying tribute to his work, we pay homage to the man.