People in Microbio.

The following is an e-mail from Ann Wood to Jo Sullivan following an e-mail he sent to the Webmaster after he had found this website. The e-mail is dated May 2005.

I've just read your letter to Gary our webmaster.  Small world of Microbiology!

I graduated in Microbiology too (1970-73) then started a PhD with Don Kelly but moved to Warwick for the final yr in 75-76 as Don got a Chair in Environmental Sciences there.

The Microbiology Dept @ QEC became part of Biosphere Sciences on the merger with KCL in '85.  That then became Life Sciences which is what we are now, but we are merging with Biomolecular Sciences in Aug (2005) and our name will change again to Dept of Biochemistry.

The Microbiology degrees (single & joint hons) will close next yr (2006), as will others in Biol Sci, Biol, Botany, Zool, Env Sci, Env Health.  KCL is becoming a 'health' university along with the arts and social sciences - so many of its science degrees are being closed sadly....Chemistry closes this yr.

Pirt stayed here till his retirement and then carried on working in research labs here on a 'casual' basis.  He married his research assistant Margaret Watts in the mid-70s, had 2 sons, one of whom did a Biol Sci degree here (the other one went to Imperial).  Pirt had a heart attack, and died immediately, 5 yrs ago last Feb.  It was a big shock even though he was in his late 70s.

Chris Thurston, who started off in Biochem and transferred to Micro in 1970, eventually became Prof and Head of Micro group - he also had a heart attack 5yrs ago next month.  He was 'out' for so long he suffered brain damage and had to take early retirement.  He's now cared for in a hospital.

Mike Bazin who also started @ QEC in 1970 died of a brain tumour just over 4 yrs ago having been retired only about 3 yrs.  Roger Miles, who may have been a contemporary of yours, eventually became a lecturer at Chelsea college and on the merger of all three colleges, returned to the Kensington Micro hub - he eventually became a Senior Lecturer.  He died of duodenal cancer in Oct 2001. I still keep in touch with his widow Robbie, who herself is now struggling with ovarian cancer......Microbiology group seems to have had a curse on it in recent yrs.

As a consequence I became 'head' of group - what was left of it!  and of course with the demise of the Micro degrees that role will end next yr.  I am in the process of being transferred to the Micro group in the Dental Institute of Guy's Med Sch which is part of KCL these days.

Trinci (my personal tutor) went on to Manchester Univ where he was variously Head of Biol Sci, Dean of Science (I think) and a ProVice Chancellor.  He is now retired but I keep in touch with him from time to time.

Bainbridge stayed here till his retirement about 3 yrs ago and I also still keep in touch with him - in fact he and Margaret should be coming on our reunion walk round Kensington on June 12th.

Matheson left QEC many yrs ago - about 1980ish.  He went to a Chair in Barbados.  He is still there I think although he is retired now.

If you remember Don Kelly (bacterial metabolism especially chemolithotrophs) - he was at Warwick for the remainder of his career after leaving QEC in 74 except for a 3yr secondment to one of the research councils (NERC).  He is now retired but still Emeritus Prof at Warwick - he was my PhD supervisor and very many years later, we eventually married - that said, we've now been married over 18 yrs so I don't know where the time went or how we fitted it all in!

I don't know most of the other names you mention in your email to Gary, but John Harwood I met last summer when he was here as External Examiner for our undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology!!  He's now Professor at Cardiff and no doubt you'll find his details on their website.

Oh - do you remember Keith Gull?  He left in 72 so must have been a postgrad at the same as you. He went to Kent as a lecturer then on to Manchester. Became a Prof etc.  He's now at Oxford in the William Dunn School of pathology. He's now and FRS and a CBE. He's coming to our special reunion in June 2006 - we are holding a full day of reunions with 2 guest speakers, one of whom is Keith. We are marking the closure of all the degrees I listed above and all former staff and students are invited - so if you are in the UK next June 10th, it'll be a good place to meet old pals!

Possibly another contemporary of your may have been Richard Sykes - I think he's now 'Sir'.  He was CEO of GSK but is now in charge of Imperial College - I forget what his title is but again, if you're interested you'll info about him on their website.

Anyway - if you want to get in touch with any of the people above, probably institution websites will get you there, but for the retired ones, let me know and I can give you their email addresses etc.

Best wishes


This page created 25 February 2007