physiologist, one of the founders of endocrinology. He made important discoveries
relating to the hormone adrenaline, and to the pituitary and other endocrine,
or ductless, glands.
He also introduced the supine position for artificial respiration, which improved on existing techniques.
Schäfer was born in London and studied at University College; he later took the name Sharpey-Schafer to honour one of his professors, and himself became professor there 1883. From 1899 he was professor at Edinburgh.
In 1894 Sharpey-Schafer and his co-worker George Oliver (1841-1915) discovered that an extract from the central part of an adrenal gland injected into the bloodstream of an animal caused a rise in blood pressure by vasoconstriction. They also noted that the smooth muscles of the animal's bronchi relaxed. These effects were caused by the action of the hormone adrenaline.
Sharpey-Schafer also suspected that another hormone was produced by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. He adopted for it the name 'insulin' (from the Latin for 'island').