Prof Denis A Mitchison

Prof Denis A Mitchison, one of the great pioneers of tuberculosis research was awarded The Union medal in December 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa.Prof Mitchison, who is 96 years old, was unable to travel to South Africa, but provided an acceptance speech on video. 

Denis A Mitchison’s distinguished career in tuberculosis research began with his pioneering studies on anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy more than half a century ago. The author of some 250 scientific papers, he is the recipient of many awards, including the Stop TB Partnership Kochon Prize (2008) and the British Thoracic Society Medal (2000). He also received the Medal of Honour from The Union in 1987 and holds an Honorary lifelong membership

After his medical training, Prof Mitchison completed postgraduate studies in pathology. In 1947, he began studies on streptomycin at Brompton Hospital as one of three people on the original bacteriological committee. In 1956 he was appointed director of the Medical Research Council Unit for Research on Drug Sensitivity in Tuberculosis at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in Hammersmith (now Imperial College). In that role he was responsible for the design of groundbreaking randomised trials in Madras, India comparing inpatient and outpatient treatment of TB – the first major studies of home care.

In 1985 Dr Mitchison retired from his position but not from science. He continued his work at Hammersmith for four years before moving to Saint George’s, University of London, where he has continued an active career in tuberculosis research well into his 90s.

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