Sir William Bowman (July 20, 1816 - March 29, 1892) was a British surgeon and anatomist. He was most famous for his research using microscopes to study various human organs. Later in life, he was also a successful ophthalmologist.
Bowman left Birmingham in 1837 to further his training as a surgeon and attended King's College, London, where he served as a prosector under Robert Bentley Todd , a professor of physiology. At a young age of 25, he identified what then became known as the Bowman's capsule, a key component of the nephron. He presented his findings in 1842 in his paper "On the Structure and Use of the Malpighian Bodies of the Kidney" to the Royal Society and was awarded the Royal Medal. His collaboration with Todd led to the publication of the five-volume "Physiological Anatomy and Physiology of Man" (1843-1856) and "Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology" (1852), which detailed their research on microscopy and histology, relating minute anatomical observations to physiological functions. Their extensive use of the microscopes revolutionized the study of anatomy and physiology. Apart from the Bowman's capsule, other anatomical structures named after him include:
After completing his surgical training in 1844, Bowman practised as an ophthalmologist at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital (later known as Moorfields Eye Hospital). Between 1848 and 1855, he also taught at King's College. In 1880, he founded the "Ophthalmological Society", which later became the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
In 1884, Queen Victoria knighted him as a baronet. He died at his house, Joldwynds, near Dorking, in Surrey in 1892.