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Wallace Peters: renowned malariologist who was the first “to really wave the flag” for combination therapy

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 22 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l846
  1. Penny Warren
  1. London, UK
  1. penny.warren{at}

Wallace Peters grew up in north London, where his parents, Henry and Fanny, had several shops. He was the youngest by nine years, with an older sister, Ronnie, and two half sisters. From an early age, he had an abiding interest in entomology, spending time on Hampstead Heath collecting insects and butterflies. Evacuated in 1939 to Cambridgeshire, he liked to cycle to Wicken Fen to catch glimpses of copper and swallowtail butterflies. During his lifetime, he would collect around 4000 specimens.

Peters attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and then in 1942 went to Cambridge University to study medicine, where for a time he was interested in communist politics. He completed his medical training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, qualifying in 1947. One of his first jobs was as a house surgeon working at Hill End Hospital in Hertfordshire. He treated returning servicemen, some of whom had tropical parasites which, with his interest in entomology, he found fascinating. …

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