‘Father of Tropical Medicine’ celebrated

The life and work of a north-east pioneer – most famous for discovering the link between mosquitoes and the spread of malaria – will be celebrated this week.

Sir Patrick Manson, known as the ‘Father of Tropical Medicine’, graduated in medicine from the University of Aberdeen in 1865. 

The Oldmeldrum-born scientist is acknowledged as one of the most significant figures in the history of research into parasitic diseases.

While working in Amoy in China during the 1870s, Sir Patrick made one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the time, when he proposed the theory that malaria was propagated by mosquitoes. 

This theory was proven by Sir Ronald Ross in 1897, under Manson’s tutorage.

In 1883 Sir Patrick moved to Hong Kong where, in 1887, he established the Hong Kong College of Medicine with fellow Aberdeen graduate Sir James Cantlie, to train young Chinese men in western medicine.

The University will host two events this week, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the scientist’s enrolment at the institution.

On Monday September 13, Professor of Community Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, Anthony Hedley will give a talk at the Suttie Centre for Learning and Teaching in Healthcare, Foresterhill, beginning at 7pm.

The lecture – which is free to attend – takes place in association with the Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society, and will be introduced by Professor Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Hedley, who is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, will provide a unique insight into Sir Manson’s life and ground-breaking research into tropical diseases whilst he worked in Aberdeen, Hong Kong and London.

On Friday September 17, Professor Michael Barrett from the University of Glasgow’s Biomedical Research Centre will explain the impact of Sir Patrick’s findings and the present day work being conducted to limit the spread of malaria, river blindness and other tropical diseases.

Professor Barrett’s talk takes place at the University of Aberdeen’s Fraser Noble Building beginning at 7.30pm.

Tickets to this event cost £5 for adults and £3.50 for children and concessions. A percentage of every ticket sold will be donated to Developing World Health, a charity combating neglected tropical infectious diseases.

Both events celebrating Sir Patrick’s life and work, take place as part of Techfest in September, Aberdeen’s annual festival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

For more information on events taking place as part of Techfest In September – which runs from September 10 – 27 - visit http://www.techfestsetpoint.org.uk/tis  or follow TechFest In September on Facebook and Twitter.

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