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Francis Glisson (1597[1] – 14 October 1677[2]) was a British physician, anatomist, and writer on medical subjects. He did important work on the anatomy of the liver, and he wrote an early pediatric text on rickets. An experiment he performed helped debunk the balloonist theory of muscle contraction by showing that when a muscle contracted under water, the water level did not rise, and thus no air or fluid could be entering the muscle.

Francis Glisson
Francis Glisson.jpg
Francis Glisson
Died14 October 1677
Known forFibrous capsule of Glisson
Scientific career

Glisson was born in Bristol and was educated in Rampisham, Dorset, and at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.[3] Glisson is a well-known medical eponym; he was for forty years Regius Professor of Physic at Cambridge. He died in London. The Glisson family can be traced to present-day Somerset.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Guido Giglioni, ‘Glisson, Francis (1599?–1677)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006, accessed 31 Dec 2008
  3. ^ "Glisson, Francis (GLS617F)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.

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