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University Mourns Professor Sir Kenneth Stuart

Professor Sir Kenneth Stuart, MD, DSc, FRCP, FRCPE, FFPM, FFPH, DTM&H.
Born: 16 June 1920
Died: 11 November 2017

Born in Barbados where he attended Harrison’s College before going on to obtain his MD from Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland.  In 1952 he joined the staff of the newly established University Hospital of the West Indies in Jamaica as its first senior registrar in medicine.  He was later promoted to Consultant, Lecturer and became the first West Indian Professor (1966) and subsequently Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (1969) a post he held until his retirement from the University of the West Indies in 1976.  He then served as Medical Advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat in London from 1976 - 1984.  Sir Kenneth received the distinction of Knight Bachelor from Her Majesty the Queen in July 1977.  The citation was “for services to medicine in the Commonwealth in general and the Caribbean in particular.”  During his work in Jamaica he described two previously unknown medical disorders ‘acute toxic hypoglycaemia’, and ‘veno-occlusive disease of the liver’. With his colleagues, these conditions were identified and nearly eliminated from the country in less than two decades. He served on many advisory committees and Boards including the Wellcome Trust, the Governing Board of the World Health Organization and numerous other world bodies. Sir Kenneth was a Freeman of the City of London. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors and its Scientific Advisory Board (1994) of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF).  He also was a founding member of WINDREF (UK) (1999) and presented the first WINDREF lecture in 2000 initiating a series which has seen many distinguished speakers.  He served on many other international Boards including: the Errol and Nita Barrow Education Trust, a Director of the International Medical Education Trust; Honorary Medical and Scientific Adviser, the Barbados High Commission in London, Founder Trustee and Patron of Students Partnership Worldwide. As a member of St George’s University’s Academic Board for more than 25 years, Sir Kenneth played an important role in helping to guide the development of the growth and evolution of St George’s which has become the world’s largest and now most influential international medical school and its expansion as a multi-school university.  In recognition of his numerous scientific contributions to medicine, he was awarded an honorary DSc (1986) from Queen’s University and in recognition of his contributions to St. George’s University, was awarded the Order of the Mace (2008).  Sir Kenneth continued to be active and published his last paper in partnership with Lord Soulsby of Swaffam Prior in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2011 entitled “Reducing Global Health Inequalities”.  He was always enthusiastic and supportive of younger professionals, enjoyed tennis to which he applied the same inimical competitive spirit and will be missed by us all.  Our condolences to his wife Barbara and his three children.