Lives of the fellows

Thomas Frederick McNair Scott

b.18 June 1901 d.25 November 2001
BA Cantab(1923) MRCS LRCP(1927) MRCP(1928) MD(1938) FRCP(1953)

Thomas Frederick McNair Scott was director of the research department at the Children's Hospital, Philadelphia, and professor of pediatric research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

He was born in Inchbare, Scotland. His father, Robert F McNair was a physician. Scott was educated in Dorset, and at Cheltenham College. He later went on to Cambridge University, where he gained first class honours in the natural science tripos. He trained at St George's Hospital, London, where he qualified in 1927.

His first junior hospital posts were at St George's. In 1930 he became a house physician at Queen's Hospital for Children in London. In the same year he went to the United States, as a research fellow in medicine at Harvard.

He was appointed physician in charge of outpatients at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 1931. A year later he was made chief research physician in pediatrics. In 1934 he transferred to New York, as assistant research physician in the infectious disease service at the hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.

He returned to London in 1936, as the first physician in charge of the children's department at St George's Hospital. In 1938 he was appointed professor of pediatrics at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1940 he became director of the research department at the Children's Hospital, Philadelphia, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

During the Second World War Scott took leave of absence from the Children's Hospital and returned to the UK to serve on the staff of the Harvard Red Cross Hospital in Salisbury. Later, after the US declared war, he joined the United States Army.

He made many contributions to medicine including: the discovery and characterisation of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCNV), the early use of tissue culture for growing viruses, the development of the test to identify and differentiate Herpes labialis from Herpes genitalis, and the identification of the cause of atypical measles. He was instrumental in extending the then restricted paediatric hospital visiting hours, a practice that was rapidly taken up by hospitals all over the world.

He married Mary Dwight Baker in 1936 and they had one son and one daughter.

RCP editor

(Volume XI, page 505)

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