Glasgow - Belvedere, Duke Street, Royal Mat., etc

Glasgow Biochemists' Club



In 1926 T Gordon Pirie was appointed as Technician to the Elder Cottage Hospital, Govan, many years before a laboratory was even contemplated at the Southern General Hospital. (The Cottage Hospital was a Voluntary Hospital and the Southern General was a Poor Law Hospital. They were included in the same group with the coming of the N.H.S. in 1948.) At that time he was paid privately by Dr Alex. Glen, who was a Physician at the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow (and father of Alastair CA Glen who was appointed as Consultant Biochemist at the Victoria Infirmary ca. 1970) and Mr Matthew White, who specialised in paediatric surgery. A short time later Pirie took up an appointment at the Victoria Infirmary. From 1939 to 1949 he set up and ran the Biochemistry Department in the Gardiner Institute of Medicine, at the Glasgow Western Infirmary, under the direction of the Regius Professor of Medicine, John W McNee (later Sir John). (ref: 81,96)

The first laboratories at the Southern General Hospital were established in 1949 by Archibald Dick, a Pathologist who was head of all disciplines until separate consultants were appointed for each discipline in 1961. Dick invited TG Pirie to be in technical charge. Pirie was instrumental in setting up the Biochemistry Department which was his main interest. In 1956 Pirie's Senior Technician, Campbell Scotland, was appointed as Chief Technician in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary (under JC Eaton). The Senior Technician vacancy was filled by Tom Rowan who later left to study full time for a BSc and PhD prior to being appointed as a Basic Grade Biochemist in the department in 1963. Pirie remained as Chief Technician at the Southern General until his retiral in 1971. (ref: 81)

In 1961 William (Bill) ST Thomson was appointed as the first Consultant Biochemist. Thomson had been a Principal Biochemist (1954 to 1957) and S.H.M.O. (Biochemistry) (1957 to 1960) in Glasgow's Royal Infirmary. (ref: 81, 94, 191)

The department at the Southern General Hospital rapidly expanded in 1961 from approx. 600 square feet to 1000 square feet and in 1966 it was moved to a wooden prefabricated building of 4000 square feet. This was constructed as a stop-gap but still houses the main department to the present (1995). In 1970 a satellite laboratory of 2000 square feet was opened in the (then) new Institute of Neurological Sciences. (ref: 81,94)

Tom Rowan, who had been a technician in the Royal Army Medical School, London, Glasgow Vet College and the Gardiner Institute, was appointed as Basic Grade Biochemist in 1963. Rowan held patent for the synthesis of vitamin B2. In 1965 he was appointed as Senior Biochemist succeeding Maureen Tennant (who, as Maureen Childs worked in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Stobhill Hospital in the 1950s and who was killed in a road accident in 1974). Rowan was appointed as Principal Biochemist in 1968 and as Top Grade Biochemist in 1974. He retired in 1991. He died in 2014. (ref: 81,94)

Bill Thomson retired in 1985 having just introduced computerised reports into the department. He had a gentlemanly manner, was a clear and logical thinker and, as a gifted teacher, he influenced the careers of many in the West of Scotland. He died in 2009. (ref: 81, 191)

Rowan assumed the role of Acting Head of Department in 1985 and was appointed in Administrative Charge in 1987. M Dominiczak, AS Smith and M Lough were seconded as locum consultants from the Glasgow Royal and Western Infirmaries during 1985 to 1987. (ref: 81)

Alan S Hutchison was appointed as Consultant in 1987. He had been a junior physician in the Southern General Hospital and had been attracted to Clinical Biochemistry through his contact with Bill Thomson. Hutchison had trained in the Biochemistry Department at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the mid-1980s. (ref: 81)

Ann M Cruickshank, who had trained in the Biochemistry Department at Glasgow Royal Infirmary from 1984, was appointed as Consultant in 1992. She retired in 2019.

Other biochemists who were at the Southern General in the 1960s, 70s and 80s include James J Allison, GM Beggs, G Bernacca, who was appointed to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, in 1982, Sheena Black, Rosemary EG Dale (later Everitt), who held and appointment in Paisley and returned to the Southern in 1982, Stuart Moyes, Anna C Robertson (later Strathdee) and Lorna Smith.

Janet E Hogg (Holt prior to 1998), who had been a Grade A Clinical Scientist in Brighton (1991 to 1994), and Senior Biochemist at Monklands Hospital (1994 to 2003) was appointed as Principal Biochemist in 2003. Laura O'Shea, Grade A Clinical Scientist in London, was appointed as Senior Biochemist in 2003.

Shona Twaddle (whose husband, Ian Godber was appointed as Principal Biochemist at Wishaw General, Lanarkshire, in 2002) was appointed as Consultant for the Southern General and Victoria Infirmary in 2004.

In 2007 Jane McNeilly, Grade A Trainee from Aberdeen, was appointed as Senior Biochemist. Later she was appointed as Principal and then Consultant Clinical Scientist and specialised in metabolic and paediatrics along with Peter Galloway.

Iain Jones, who had trained at Southern General Hospital, was appointed as consultant at the Royal Alexandra Infirmary, Paisley, in 2014.

In 2015 The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital was opened on the site of the Southern General.

In 2017 the consultant medical staff were Anne Cruickshank, Peter Galloway, Rajeev Srivastava and Shona Twaddle and the scientist staff included Marianne Barr, Graeme Chalmers, Allan Dunlop, Rachel Edwards, Frank Finlay, John Hamilton, Janet Hogg, Alan Reid, Lorna Smith, Chris Stockdale and Roy Talbot.

Raphael Buttigieg was a member of staff in 2019.

Frank Finlay retired in 2019.

Ian Godber, from Lanarkshire, was appointed as Consultant Clinical Scientist in 2019, taking up his post in 2020.

Glasgow - Stobhill General Hospital

Return to Introduction / Index

Last updated November 2019