Obituaries

John (“Jack”) Parsons ShillingfordRobert Michael BadmintonTerry CoatesChristopher Charles CramptonRichard Michael DeanDesmond Stopford Mulock Enraght-MoonyEric Glyn HughesAlfred Cecil Victor MaltbyGisela (“Gilli”) OppenheimFredrick ShepherdEleanor Mary SingerBarry Leonard StoneBrian Ponsford WebberHenry John (“Jack”) WeldonGiles Martin James Woolley

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7222.1438 (Published 27 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1438

John (“Jack”) Parsons Shillingford


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Former professor of cardiology (b 1914; q The London/Harvard 1944 (Magna Cum Laude); FRCP, FACP; CBE), d 16 September 1999. He was one of the leading researchers into the causes of heart disease and a pioneer in the introduction of coronary care units into the United Kingdom in the 1960s. After completing his training at Harvard—he had won a Rockerfeller scholarship at the outbreak of the second world war—he worked at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and in New York before returning to the London Hospital. In 1950 he was recruited by the late Sir John McMichael, who was forming research teams in medicine at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. Jack's team became one of the foremost research teams in Britain, looking at the basic causes of heart failure after heart attack and beginning for the first time to explore the narrowing of the arteries that takes place as part of the process of ageing. He headed the Medical Research Council's cardiovascular unit, and his engineering interests and skills led to several diagnostic innovations. He attracted researchers from overseas and helped to establish the importance of engineering and biophysics in cardiovascular research. His major contributions were in the study and care of patients in the acute stages of heart attack, at a time when little was offered beyond pain relief. In 1968 Jack became president of the section of experimental medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine. He was appointed to the chair of angiocardiography at the University of London in 1969 and was the Lumleian lecturer of the Royal College of Physicians. In the 1960s he realised that research into heart disease was underfunded and, together with Sir John McMichael, supported the recently formed British Heart Foundation. He was a strong protagonist of the foundation's professorships, of which …

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