(1578 - 1657)
William Harvey was educated at Kings School, Canterbury and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. He studied medicine in Padua, Italy (1600-1602), and then returned to England to practice. In 1607 he became a Fellow of the College of Physicians. Two years later he was appointed Physician to St Bartholomew's Hospital - a position he held until c.1644. He was also Physician Extraordinary to King James I from 1618, and later Physician to King Charles I.
William Harvey's training in Padua provided him with the most advanced medical knowledge of the time. At St Bartholomew's Hospital he continued to study the function of the body's organs. These investigations led to his discovery of the circulation of the blood, which he described in his classic work of 1628 "Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus" (The motion of the heart and blood in animals).
Almost four hundred years later research into the regulation of the circulation still represents one of the most important efforts to identify new medicines to prevent heart disease, and to treat rheumatoid arthritis, renal disease or the many complications of diabetes.