Lives of the fellows

David Maurice Surrey Dane

b.25 March 1923 d.9 April 1998
MRCS LRCP(1951) MB BChir Cantab(1955) MRCP(1964) MRCPath(1964) FRCPath(1972) FRCP(1980)

David Dane was a distinguished medical virologist and head of virology at the Bland Sutton Institute of Pathology, Middlesex Hospital School of Medicine. He was educated at Charterhouse School, and then in 1941 volunteered to join the Army. He later served in the SAS and the Special Operations Executive. He returned to Clare College, Cambridge, after the war to read medicine and completed his clinical training at St Thomas’s Hospital, London.

He became a research fellow at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Sciences, Adelaide University, before joining George Dick’s [Munk’s Roll, Vol.X, p.107] department of microbiology at Queen’s University, Belfast, in 1955, where he was soon promoted to a readership in microbiology.

The virology group moved to the Middlesex Hospital School of Medicine in 1967 where David Dane continued studies on poliomyelitis vaccines and on developing diagnostic virology. The discovery of the Australia antigen by Baruch Blumberg, provided a laboratory test for hepatitis B and David Dane and his group rapidly applied this discovery to the development of improved screening tests for markers of hepatitis B virus infection in blood donors. In 1970, David Dane with his colleagues, Colin Cameron and Moya Briggs, identified the complete hepatitis B virus in serum using electron microscopy. His colleague, June Almeida of the Wellcome Research Laboratories, herself the world’s leading electron microscopist, coined the term ‘Dane particle’ for this virus and so it remained for many years.

David Dane was an adviser to the National Blood Transfusion Service and to the Department of Health of the UK for many years, where his contributions, together with the development of meticulous and sensitive laboratory techniques for the diagnosis of hepatitis B and other viruses, ensured the safety of the transfusion of blood and blood products.

Arie J Zuckerman

[The Guardian 1 May 1998; The Daily Telegraph 26 May 1998]

(Volume XI, page 141)

<< Back to List