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Observations BMJ Confidential

William Frankland: From Fleming to Saddam Hussein

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 14 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4824


William (Bill) Frankland, 104, is Britain’s oldest active scientist. Born before the first world war, he may contemplate retirement when he turns 105 next March. He qualified at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. After more than three years as a prisoner of the Japanese he returned to St Mary’s and specialised in allergies. He collaborated with Alexander Fleming on penicillin, started daily pollen counts in 1953, and championed desensitisation as an allergy treatment. In the early 1950s he carried out double blind placebo trials in allergy and asthma. He is an honorary fellow of his old college, Queen’s College, Oxford.

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