Dr. Russell Wilder was a pioneering researcher in diabetes and nutrition, and became a key proponent of enriching flour and bread with thiamine.
Dr. Russell M. Wilder (November 24th,1885—December 16th, 1959) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in a medical family of colonial ancestry. He received dual degrees of doctor of medicine and philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1912, having become interested in the section of the pancreas called Islands of Langerhans. While studying diabetes in Vienna he had to escape Europe with his family at the outbreak of WWI (in which he served 1918-1919). After the war he joined the Mayo clinic to care for diabetic patients, and was among the first to test insulin. In 1931 he became head of the department of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, where he developed research in endocrinology, metabolism and nutrition; he believed the latter needed to be better researched among doctors. He retired from Mayo in 1950, all the while serving in many influential government committees and agencies.