Peter Kynaston Thomas

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 20 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:674
  1. Caroline Richmond

Expert in peripheral neuropathy

Always known by his initials, PK, Peter Kynaston Thomas was a prolific expert in peripheral neuropathy. He was a gifted researcher and writer, his research covering peripheral neuropathy and myopathy, both clinical and laboratory. He had wit, charm, and a gleam in his eye that readily mutated into a twinkle. He had exceptional energy and managed on five hours sleep a night. He hunted boars in Poland on his holidays.

The son of a timber importer, PK was educated at a bible school in Swansea, where he had an inspiring teacher. The school offered him a university scholarship but required him to work as a missionary afterwards, so he refused it. He entered University College London on an open scholarship in 1944 and got a first in anatomy three years later. By the time he qualified, three years later, he had worked as anatomy demonstrator and had published his first research paper. It was on the segmental growth of the lateral line nerve in fishes, cowritten with the anatomist J Z Young. The research material …

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