Robert McLaren Todd

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 15 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1137
  1. Christopher Todd

Robert McLaren Todd’s life and work can be divided into four main parts: education and medicine, the Church, music and his other interests, and of course his family.

Education and medicine

Robert was born on the 27 September 1915 at Syston in Leicestershire. He was the elder son of Robert Alexander McLaren Todd, a pharmacist, and Edith Ann Todd (née Walker). Robert attended the local Syston Church of England school (1920 to 1926) before going to Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys (1926 to 1934). He then went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge (1934 to 1937), and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London (1937 to 1940). After graduating he then went on to receive his MA in 1941, his DCH (London) in 1942, and his MRCP (London) in 1945.

In 1946 he received his Cambridge MD and in 1965 his FRCP (London).

After qualification in 1940 he obtained a house surgeon post in ear, nose, and throat and maxillo-facial surgery at Barts followed by a senior house physician post at Barts and St Albans, and this was followed in turn as resident medical officer at Leicester Royal Infirmary and house physician at the Children’s Hospital in Leicester from 1942 to 1945. Later in 1946 he became medical registrar at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, London E2.

Then in 1947 he came to Liverpool as the first senior lecturer (and later reader) in the new Department of Child Health, and he ran the Medical Research Council’s trial on the treatment of tuberculous meningitis at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the first hospital in the country to use this drug.

In 1953 Robert had a short spell at …

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