Edward Treacher Collins
Edward Treacher Collins is the famous ophthalmologist widely known for his research into the disease that ultimately took his name. His research single-handedly changed the history of Treacher Collins syndrome, giving the medical world the principles that helped science understand the full dynamics of the genetic disorder.
Born in 1862, Collins was the son of a London physician. Growing up in a Huguenot family with strong ties to his older brother, a reputable ophthalmologist of the era, he decided to follow in his footsteps and also pursue a career in the field. After attending University College, he finished his education at Middlesex Hospital where he was first exposed to the disorder Mandibulofacial Dysostasis. In 1884, he began an internship at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, a position which turned into a career that lasted 48 years.
During his tenure at the hospital, Collins was primarily positioned as the pathologist and curator of the facilities museum. Amongst the collection of the hospital were numerous skulls that belonged to people who had suffered from Treacher Collins syndrome. Collins himself became highly interested in the disorder and began researching its prevalence through certain family's histories. He also identified the different types of problems that children born with the disease faced after birth. Among the most intense research conducted by the physician were problems with the eyes, particularly the fact that many children born with the disease lacked lower eyelids or eyelashes.
Collins became very famous during his career for lectures dealing with the subject. In 1896, he published a book called Researches into the Anatomy and Pathology of the Eye. The success of the research helped hundreds of other scientists around the world identify Treacher Collins syndrome as not simply a random occurrence with mutations of the skull, but a specific disease that afflicted certain family lines.