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June Almeida (née Hart)

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 26 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1511
  1. Joyce Almeida

June Almeida (née Hart) was internationally renowned virologist who pioneered new methods for viral imaging and diagnosis.

She was brought up in a flat in a tenement building in Glasgow, and, although shining academically, left school at 16 without funding to go to university. Nevertheless, she became an internationally renowned virologist whose skills in electron microscopy enabled her not only to identify viruses whose fine structure had hitherto been unknown but also to shed light on the pathogenesis of viral infections, and to pioneer and improve methods for viral diagnosis.

On leaving school in 1947, June became a laboratory technician in histopathology at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary on a salary of 25 shillings a week, and then got a job at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, working in the same discipline. She then married an artist and emigrated to Canada, where, by chance, there was a vacancy in the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto for an electron microscopy technician. Her skills soon became apparent, and, despite having no formal qualifications, …

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