Intended for healthcare professionals


Michael Peckham: professor of oncology and artist

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 22 September 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2325
  1. Penny Warren
  1. London, UK
  1. warrenpenny788{at}


Art was at Michael Peckham’s core. He painted and exhibited all his life, and his vibrant artworks cheered each office he inhabited. He said being an artist gave him balance as a doctor and health researcher. “If you’re an artist you have to take the holistic view. I think it’s prevented me from retreating into overspecialised activities.”

Inspired by working in 1960 with Gwen Hilton in the radiotherapy department at University College Hospital in London, Peckham specialised in oncology. He spent two years in Paris, working with Maurice Tubiana on the cell biology of lymphoma at the Institut Gustave Roussy. Returning to London, he took a job as a lecturer at the Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Marsden Hospital, and in 1973 was appointed professor of radiotherapy. He went on to become dean in 1984.

Peckham instigated several clinical and laboratory programmes and furthered the research he had seen in Paris into lymphoma …

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