While at Guy's, Starling studied physiology under Leonard Woolridge, who acted as a mentor to him. Woolridge died in 1889 leaving a young widow, whom Starling married in 1891, and who became a supporting companion in all of Starling's efforts. At the time Germany was the world leader in the study of physiology and Starling made trips there to study under Wilhelm Kuhne. In addition to his work overseas, and at Guy's limited laboratory facilities, Starling was invited to work at University College, where he met William Bayless, who became a frequent collaborator.
Starling researched many areas of physiology, but he is best known for the Franck-Starling Law of the Heart, or simply Starling's Law. The law states that the stroke volume of the heart increases in response to an increase in the volume of the blood filling the heart. When a greater volume of blood fills the heart the muscle walls of the heart are streched. In response to this stretch the muscle walls contract with a greater force, forceing more blood out of the heart. Staring is also responsible for coining the term hormone, which he based on the Greek word for impetus. Also Starling, with Bayliss, first described the peristalsis of the digestive system.
Honors won by Starling include, election to the Royal Society (1899), The Royal Medal (1913), and the Baly Medal (1907). Although he had spent much time in Germany his opinion of the German Nation changed with the outbreak of the First World War, during which he served as a director of research to study defensive measures against gas warfare. By 1920 Starling's health began to decline, suffering from malaria, aquired on a trip to India. In 1927 Starling took a warm water cruise, in an effort to improve his health. He died, probably on April 20, 1927, as his ship aproached Kingston, Jamaca.
O'Connor, W. J.; British Physiologists 1885-1914: A Biographical Dictionary; Manchester University Press ND; 1991
Fye, W. Bruce; "Erenest Henry Starling"; Clinical Cardiology (2006)29:181-182
Ernest Starling Wikipedia Entry