Bellini, Lorenzo (1643–1704),
Italian anatomist and physiologist. Bellini is important as one of the founders of Italian iatrophysics. He pioneered in the use of physical laws to explain the function of the human body. For three decades he served as professor of theoretical medicine and then of anatomy at the University of Pisa, Italy. In 1662 he published his first paper, an important study of the structure and function of the kidneys. Rejecting Galen's characterization of the kidneys as a mass of undifferentiated material, he uncovered a complicated structure composed of fibers, open spaces, and densely packed tubules. In his paper he described the renal excretory ducts that are now associated with his name. In 1665, in another classic essay, he recognized the papillae of the tongue as the organs of taste. Bellini was also among the first to recognize the value of urinalysis as an aid to diagnosis.