Obituaries

Christopher Booth

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5768 (Published 31 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5768
  1. Stephen Lock, former editor, BMJ
  1. splock{at}globalnet.co.uk

Prominent clinical scientist and maverick member of the medical establishment

Nick Sinclair

If ever applied to doctors, the term “big beast” would have fitted Christopher Booth like a glove: not only was his favourite century the rumbustious 18th, but he was also a Yorkshireman. The finicky may find plain speaking off-putting, but it enabled Booth, as a distinguished clinical scientist and foremost as a medical policy maker, to be as at home talking to a Swaledale farmer as to the BMA, the Medical Research Council, or the Royal College of Physicians—all bodies he served with distinction.

Small intestinal structure and function

After service with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve from 1942 to 1946, Booth qualified cum laude at St Andrews in 1951. His research career started at the Central Middlesex Hospital with Francis Avery Jones, where his finding that vitamin B12 is absorbed in the terminal ileum won him the Rutherford gold medal.1 He spent 10 years as a lecturer and senior lecturer at the (later, Royal) Postgraduate Medical School, under his hero, director John McMichael, where he continued such important research into …

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