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07 March - Norman Gregg discovers birth defects

Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:30 pm
by Max ADU
Australian Birthdays Today, Sir Norman McAlister Gregg, MC, born 7 March 1892, Burwood NSW –died 27 July 1966, Woollahra,NSW, was an Australian ophthalmologist, who discovered that rubella suffered by a pregnant woman could cause birth defects in her child (congenital rubella syndrome).


Gregg studied medicine at the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and first-class honours in 1915.

While in University, Gregg was an active and capable sportsman who playing cricket, tennis, baseball, swimming and ice hockey.

From 1913 to 1914, he represented New South Wales in cricket three times, and once in tennis. Had it not been for the outbreak of World War I, Gregg would have qualified for the Australian Davis Cup team.

Gregg served on the Western Front during World War I and was wounded in the field.. For his gallant actions was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry on 24 September 1918.

When World War II began, Gregg was a paediatric ophthalmologist, noticed a high incidence of congenital cataracts in infants arriving at his surgery – two to three times the normal rate that would be expected from hereditary factors.

There had been an outbreak of rubella and meningitis in Australian army camps in 1941, which had been transmitted to the wider community when the men returned to their families

Overhearing a conversation between several mothers whose babies had cataracts, in which they mentioned that they had suffered from German measles (rubella) during pregnancy. Gregg Investigating the medical records of children with similar conditions, discovered that out of 78 affected children, 68 had been exposed to rubella in utero.

On 1 January 1953, he was made a Knight Bachelor for services to medical science in the New Year Honours and was given the Australian Father of the Year award in 1962.

Re: 07 March - Norman Gregg discovers birth defects

Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:15 pm
by Max ADU