Charlotte Anderson

Charlotte Anderson was an Australian pioneer of paediatric gastroenterology. She developed a clinical and research program at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, where she also established the first cystic fibrosis clinic in Australia (1953) and the hospital's Gastroenterological Research Unit (1962).

Her research was wide-reaching and varied, but her major contributions were made in the areas of cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and sugar intolerance. Anderson devised a test to differentiate between cystic fibrosis and celiac disease; introduced the use of inhalation and chest physiotherapy to increase the survival rate of cystic fibrosis patients; discovered that celiac disease was triggered by wheat gluten and that a gluten-free diet could prevent further disease onset and heal the damaged gut; and invented a simple, non-invasive test for diagnosing sugar intolerance in infants.