These obituaries have been prepared by alumni and friends of St. George's, University of London. If you would like to submit an obituary for an alumnus or former member of staff for inclusion on this webpage please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Professor Denis Mitchison (1919-2018)

Professor Denis Mitchison, who has died aged 98, will be remembered for his outstanding contribution to the field of tuberculosis research. ‘Denny' as he was known, was Emeritus Professor in the Institute for Infection and Immunity at St George's, and only formally retired from academic life in 2015.

Professor Denis Mitchison

As a pathologist in the 1940s, at the Brompton Hospital in London, Denis Mitchison carried out the first randomized controlled clinical trial which involved tuberculosis. He and his colleagues investigated the antibiotic streptomycin, comparing its efficacy with the then standard treatment, bed rest. He pioneered drug combinations to address antibiotic resistance which was already on the rise.

Later, as Director of the Medical Research Council Unit for Research on Drug Sensitivity in Tuberculosis, he turned his attention to the problem of TB in the developing world. He devised a pioneering set of trials in India that compared inpatient and outpatient treatment of TB. These showed that home care was just as effective as being held in a sanatorium for months and led to a new WHO plan to get treatment out to those who needed it.

His research on drug combinations led to the reduction of treatment periods, and he was at the forefront of developing so called ‘short-course' regimes. These short course regimens remain the basis of today's current standard TB therapy.

His enormous body of work was recorded in more than 250 publications and recognised with prestigious awards.

Even after his first ‘retirement' in 1985 he continued to innovate in the field, developing new techniques to measure early bactericidal activity of drugs and establishing new approaches to accelerate phase II clinical studies for TB drugs.

We extend our warmest sympathies to his family.

Dr Edward Dunbar (1947-2018)

We are sad to record the death of Dr Edward M “Ed” Dunbar, who graduated from St George's in 1972. 

Dr Edward Dunbar

Edward died suddenly at home on 6 December. He was an irrepressible character and a highly respected consultant in infectious diseases in Manchester and the North West.

Edward had a special interest in, and commitment to, management of HIV infection, also travelling to Africa to support communities there. He was a brilliant runner in his youth, being part of the team that brought the Hospitals Cup running championship to St. George's for the first time in our history in 1967. His devotion to causes was passionate – exemplified not only by his approach to high quality clinical care but also his support for the Wales rugby team.

Edward's wife is alumna Professor Jacky Hayden, who graduated in 1974 and worked as a GP before being appointed as Dean of Postgraduate Medical Studies for the North Western Deanery NHS North and Manchester. There, she established systematic processes to ensure that doctors and dentists completing training to provide the highest possible patient care. Jacky has also contributed to several other boards and committees such as Medical Education England and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Our condolences and best wishes to Jacky and their two sons.

Dr Norton Lynn Short MBE (1934 -2018)

Dr Norton Lynn Short MBE, who died in November 2018, attended St George’s from 1952-1958.

Dr Norton Short

Norton was awarded his MBE for services to medicine in 1998, and became a fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2000, having dedicated his life to the advancement of medical science.

Having completed his degree at St George's, Norton went on to pursue a career spanning forty years as a GP in Kent. He published a range of articles on clinical and medico-legal subjects and also medical ethics.

Keen to share his knowledge with the next generation, Norton taught as part of the faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2003-2010, where he was also an accreditation visitor from 1990 - 2006.

Norton took an interest in the management and wider success of the NHS, having held a position as a Healthy Authority member for Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust from 1985 to 1993. In addition, he was a Board Member of the Queens Nursing Institute from 1985-1993.

At home, his interests extended well beyond science, with travel, history and opera among his passions, even resulting in an MA degree. While completing his studies at St George's, Norton was also a member of the undergraduate Rugby team.

Norton held an impressive list of qualifications, including an MBBS ( Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery ) DRCOG (Diploma from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) and MRCGP (Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners).

Norton leaves behind his wife Chrys Short and five children from two marriages. Both Norton's wife Chrys and his former wife Barbara, who also studied at St George's, were nurses. Four of his children now work in medicine and healthcare, with two daughters who went on to become nurses and two sons who followed in his footsteps to become doctors.

Our condolences go to his family and friends


Last Updated: Tuesday, 08 January 2019 10:56