The records in this accession document Dr. Alick Little’s research, teaching and publication activities over a forty-year medical career with the University of Toronto and two teaching hospitals, Sunnybrook and St. Michael’s in Toronto. Arranged in six series, the records reflect Dr. Little’s primary professional activity as a medical researcher and administrator of multiple medical studies. Areas of research include the relationship of lipids and heart disease, hereditary fructose intolerance and coronary atherosclerosis. His activities in various professional associations both in Canada and the United States, including his participation on committees, as well as his role in University of Toronto academic and administrative functions are not documented in any detail. Series 1 contains general correspondence with colleagues, students, faculty and administrators at the University of Toronto and other teaching hospitals relating to research, teaching and publication activities. Also included are letters of reference for his staff, research associates and students as well as records documenting other professional relationships with organizations such as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
The records documenting his activities at Sunnybrook Hospital are primarily concerned with his participation in the Atherosclerosis Project sponsored from 1952 to 1962 by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This study was one of the first in Canada to study the link between lipids and heart disease. These records document fairly completely the administrative history of this study at Sunnybrook, the nature and scope of the research conducted by Dr. Little and his team, the data collected as well as the research results. Series 5 consists of patient case files and summarized data for both control and study groups, data files on other diseases studied in conjunction with the primary study, correspondence, annual reports, and manuscripts of articles.
Although his association with St. Michael’s Hospital dates from the early 1950’s when he established the Diabetic Clinic, the records in Series 2 document primarily his activities following the establishment of the Toronto/McMaster Lipid Research Clinic (LRC) in 1973. In addition to his role as Director of the LRC (see A2002-0009), Dr. Little spearheaded the establishment of other programs at St.Michael’s Hospital. These include the Clinical Investigation Unit and the Lipid Research Laboratory. Records of the Clinical Investigation Unit’s fructosemia case study are included within this series. His participation in the hospital’s Advisory Committee, Department of Medicine and as director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism is also documented in this series. Grant application records in Series 4 document requests for funds for other studies on related topics from 1968 to 1992 from the Ontario Heart Foundation (and its successor body, the Heart and Stroke Foundation) as well as Health and Welfare Canada and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. These records also document through curriculum vitae and other records many of the people who were members of the study team collaborating with Dr. Little.
While the bulk of records related to Dr. Little’s work at the Toronto/McMaster Lipid Research Clinic are included in A2002-0009, research material from specific studies conducted through the Toronto McMaster Lipid Research Clinic comprise Series 7 of the J. A. Little fonds. Documentation includes material related to the Apolipoprotein C-II Deficiency Study, the Coronary Primary Prevention Trial (CPPT), as well as components of the multi-year Toronto McMaster Lipid Research Clinics Population (Prevalence) Studies.
Throughout his career, Dr. Little wrote, lectured and published extensively on his own and as part of a research group. Series 3 provides a fairly complete collection of his manuscripts of both published and unpublished writings dating from his time as research associate to professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Articles on the results of the Department of Veterans Affairs study will be found in Series 5. Manuscripts relating to the official reports produced for the Toronto/McMaster Lipid Research Project are not among these papers and will be found in A2002-0009.