Search

Blue plaque unveiled at Hampstead home of Sir Peter Medawar ‘father of organ transplants’

15:18 14 July 2014

Sir Peter Medwar

Sir Peter Medwar's children, pictured (from left) Alexander Medawar, Louise Stevenson, Charles Medawar and Caroline Garland-Taylor, at the unveiling of a blue plaque to commemorate their father. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A Nobel Prize-winning immunologist who is widely considered to be the “father of organ transplantation” has been honoured with an English Heritage Blue Plaque at his former Hampstead home.

Nobel Prize-winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar (1915-1987) was responsible for crucial advances in organ transplantation. Picture: © Godfrey Argent StudioNobel Prize-winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar (1915-1987) was responsible for crucial advances in organ transplantation. Picture: © Godfrey Argent Studio

Sir Peter Medawar was responsible for pioneering research into the successful transfer of human tissue and organs, notably as chair of zoology at University College London.

English Heritage’s head curator Dr Jeremy Ashbee joined friends, family and colleagues of Sir Peter at a ceremony for the plaque unveiling in Downshire Hill on Friday.

Dr Ashbee said: “Sir Peter was a formidable scientist whose research enabled the successful transplantation of human tissue and organs.

“His research has saved countless lives and this blue plaque celebrates both his groundbreaking work and his life here in London.”

Sir Peter Medawar's daughter Louise Stevenson with theatre director Sir Jonathan Miller at the plaque unveiling. Picture: Nigel SuttonSir Peter Medawar's daughter Louise Stevenson with theatre director Sir Jonathan Miller at the plaque unveiling. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Born in Brazil, Sir Peter moved to England towards the end of the First World War and graduated with a first in zoology from Magdalen College, Oxford, before staying on to study the science of tissue growth and repair during the 1940s.

He was famously asked to help treat an RAF pilot who had suffered severe burns after his bomber had crashed in north Oxford, which became a seminal moment in his career.

The biologist continued his research at the University of Birmingham until 1951, when he moved to London and joined UCL’s zoology department.

In 1960, Sir Peter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology in recognition of his breakthrough discovery of how the human body can function using foreign tissue.

Actor Andrew Sachs was a friend of Sir Peter. Picture: Nigel SuttonActor Andrew Sachs was a friend of Sir Peter. Picture: Nigel Sutton

He went on to serve as director of the National Institute of Medical Research but suffered from the effects of a severe stroke and retired in 1970.

He lived in Downshire Hill from the mid 1970s until his death in 1987, at the age of 72, though he also spent many years living at Mount Vernon House, Holly Hill, and Lawn House in Hampstead.

Sir Peter’s children – Caroline, Charles, Louise and Alexander – said that the unveiling was a very happy occasion for the family.

“We remember and admire Peter not only for his great distinction as a scientist, but also as a most generous, brave and delightful man, with a marvellous and playful sense of humour too,” they said.

Friends of Sir Peter, including Kilburn-based actor Andrew Sachs and revered theatre director Sir Jonathan Miller, also attended the blue plaque ceremony.

Mr Sachs, who read to Sir Peter during his illness, said: “It’s wonderful to be here. You couldn’t help but admire Peter’s achievements – he was a kind, funny and truly magical man.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00
Tracey Palmer, Macmillan information and support manager at The Whittington Hospital, and Angel Bellot, the hospital's PALS and complaints manager (Picture: Eve Harris)

Two brave Whittington workers will swap the wards for the sky (and then, hopefully, the ground) when they jump out of a plane for charity this weekend.

Yesterday, 08:04
Members of Power up North London, Ian Grant,Nikki Brain,Vijay Bhopal & Ben Pearce,pictured at St Anne's Church Highgate where they have been given permission to install Solar Panels on the roof. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A Grade II-listed church in Highgate will open up to rays of light above, after a community group won planning permission for solar panels to be installed on the slope of its roof

Fri, 15:02
A family enjoys fun in the sun. Picture: John Macdonald-Fulton

School’s out for summer – great for children, but for parents, it can be a challenge to find enough activities to keep youngsters entertained over the six-week break.

Fri, 13:43
Neelu Berry arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court 07.10.15.

Two campaigners accused of spreading discredited claims of a Satanic paedophile ring have been told they must stay away from a vicar and his parishioners.

Fri, 13:18
Omar Bartocci, 13,  has been missing since Wednesday

Members of a Haringey rugby club have appealed for help finding a junior player who has gone missing.

Fri, 13:10
Elizabeth Dennis, Daisy Cripps 16, Amy Haysome 13, Millie Chapple 14, Poppy Kilbey 12, coach Becky Smith, Lindsey Wylie, and actress Michelle Collins ahead of this weekend's world record attempt

A Highgate charity is calling on the community’s help to dance its way into the record books.

Fri, 11:53
Kato Harris, who has been charged with three counts of rape

A teacher today told a jury that a 15-year-old schoolgirl who accused him of raping her in a classroom at her Camden school held a grugde against him after he commented on her “silly face” in a school photograph.

Fri, 11:52
Zack Newman and supporters with a petition demanding that Nigel Farage be prosecuted, at Kentish Town Police Station on 20.07.16.

A petition was handed in at Kentish Town police station yesterday calling for the arrest of UKIP leader Nigel Farage for ‘inciting racial hatred’ during the EU referendum campaign.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All entrants can get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now