Abraham Guz

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 16 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3717
  1. Mark Noble,
  2. Tony Seed

Researcher and clinician with a focus on physiological aspects of respiratory function

Abraham (“Abe”) Guz, a prominent, creative, and colourful figure in the clinical research community in Britain for many years, was professor of medicine at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School until 1994.

Born in 1929 to Russian parents who had settled as refugees in east London after the Russian Revolution, Abe Guz entered Charing Cross Medical School in 1947 with a state scholarship. He won all the undergraduate prizes including the medical school gold medal; qualified with honours in medicine and surgery; and achieved an unusual first by being banned from the medical school library because he had hoarded so many textbooks in his room. He passed the MRCP exam at the age of 25—in those days you could take the whole exam in one—and then entered the army for two years’ national service. He completed this as chief medical officer to the hospital serving the headquarters of the British Army on the Rhine, with the rank of acting major.

On his return to civilian life in 1956 Guz became a senior house officer at Hammersmith Hospital. He went to America, initially as a research fellow to Harvard and then as a senior fellow to the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) in San Francisco, which had just opened under the leadership of Julius Comroe, one of the great names of 20th century academic medicine in the US. There he worked with Julien Hoffman, a cardiovascular physician who was developing methods to measure blood volume, flow, and cardiac output in intact animals and humans.

In 1961 Guz came back to England. He was appointed …

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