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

17:25
Andrew Dismore

Labour’s Andrew Dismore has retained his position as Camden and Barnet representative on the Greater London Assembly.

Joanne McCartney.

Labour’s Joanne McCartney has maintained her seat in the GLA for Haringey and Enfield.

Neglected Hornsey Town Hall Square. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Fears for the green space in front of Hornsey Town Hall might be calmed as Haringey Council promise it will stay open for the public when it falls into private ownership.

Lessons at Hornsey School for Girls are continuing as normal. Photo: Polly Hancock

Hornsey School for Girls teachers went on strike last week following allegations of ‘bullying’ from management, but Haringey National Union of Teachers (NUT) have suspended two further strikes.

Police are appealing for information on the wherabouts of two young sisters who are believed to be in the Camden area

Police are appealing for information on two young sisters who are missing and believed to be in the Camden area.

Josette Simon recorded the video for Crouch End TV

Crouch End actors leant their voices to calls to keep Muswell Hill and Crouch End Post Offices publicly run ahead of a planned ‘queuing’ demonstration this weekend.

14:53
Police are appealing for  witnesses after a flasher exposed himself in Belsize Park

Police have appealed for witnesses after a man exposed himself to a woman in broad daylight in Belsize Park.

12:16
Chris Martin of Coldplay

Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Blur drummer Dave Rowntree and comedian David Walliams are among Camden stars to donate items to a celebrity car boot sale to raise funds for Syrian refugees.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe