Obituaries

Robert Evan Owen Williams

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7413.506-c (Published 28 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:506

Former director Public Health Laboratory Service (b 1916; q University College Hospital Medical School 1940; MD, FRCP, FRCPath), died 24 May 2003.


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Sir Robert Williams was a distinguished bacteriologist working in both public health and clinical medicine. After qualifying he joined the Emergency Medical Service Laboratory in Hemel Hempstead, where his skill in bacteriology was soon apparent and he was recruited to the Medical Research Council wound infection unit at the Birmingham Accident Hospital. In Birmingham and later at the Colindale Central Public Health Laboratory, he pioneered the use of phage typing in tracking individual infections. In 1960 he was appointed professor of bacteriology at St Mary's Hospital Medical School and director of the Wright Fleming Institute, and in 1973 he returned to Colindale as director of the Public Health Laboratory Service. Predeceased by his wife, Peggy, he leaves three children.

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[David Innes Williams]

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