Lives of the fellows

Alexander Parker Mowat

b.5 April 1935 d.11 November 1995
MB ChB Aberd(1958) DObst(1962) DCH(1962) MRCP(1964) FRCP(1975)

Alexander Parker Mowat was the first professor of paediatric hepatology in the UK and one of world's leading academics on the diseases of the liver in childhood. His work was recognized throughout the world and especially in America and Japan.

He was proud of being Scottish; he was born in Cullen on the Aberdeenshire coast and qualified in Aberdeen in 1958. He went on to serve in the RAMC in the Far East.

On returning from the Army he organized his own training in hepatology - including working for a period at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

He returned to Aberdeen Medical School as a senior registrar in paediatrics until his appointment as a consultant paediatrician in the department of child health at King’s College Hospital, London. He was later awarded a personal chair of paediatric hepatology.

At King’s he worked closely with Roger Williams and the adult unit and quickly developed a superb clinical service for children with liver disease. With the collaboration of Edward Howard, the paediatric surgeon, the unit soon achieved excellent results in liver transplantation and the management of liver disease. At the same time Mowat obtained support to develop research and also trained many paediatricians for clinical and research careers.

He was instrumental in the establishment of children’s liver disease as an interest in Birmingham and also helped in the gaining of official recognition and support for the three liver units at Cambridge, Birmingham and King’s.

He was the author of Liver diseases in childhood (London, Butterworths, 1979), which was universally acclaimed as the leading textbook on the subject.

At a personal level he was a modest and sincere doctor. A great golfer and keen cricketer, he was calm, thoughtful and never bad tempered. In all his work and especially in writing his textbook he worked in partnership with his wife Ann. He died suddenly, just after giving a lecture at a conference on liver diseases in Chile.

Sir Eric Stroud

[Brit.med.J., 1995,311,1636; The Independent, 21 Nov 1995]

(Volume X, page 351)

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