19 December 2018

BSH was saddened to learn of the death of our former President, Professor Sir David Weatherall on Saturday, 8 December 2018.

Known fondly as 'Prof', Professor Weatherall was a renowned general physician, haematologist and clinician scientist. During his career he held roles as Professor of Haematology at the University of Liverpool before moving to Oxford as Nuffield Professor of clinical medicine.

President of BSH from 1980-81, Professor Weatherall leaves a substantial body of work behind him, including leading pioneering research into molecular genetics and the treatment of blood disorders of the haemoglobinopathies. Dedicated to understanding the genetics of haemoglobin, he was able to provide the first evidence of how thalassaemia occurs after demonstrating how the disease is caused by defects in the alpha and beta chains of Haemoglobin.

This led to him becoming a world leading expert on the thalassaemias, and in 1965 his first book The Thalassaemia Syndromes was published. In 1989 he founded the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford, with the aim of improving health by fostering research in molecular and cell biology. This institute has since been renamed the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in his honour.

During his career, Professor Weatherall collected many honours and awards, including the Royal Medal from the Royal Society for his work on the thalassaemias and the 2010 Lasker Prize which is the most significant US prize for medical research. He was knighted in 1987, and appointed Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours for his services to medicine.

We extend our condolences to Professor David Weatherall's family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.

Further Obituaries

The Times

University of Oxford