b.8 October 1920 d.13 June 2000
MB BChir Cantab(1946) FRS(1979) MD(1983) FRCP(1991)
Patrick Anthony Merton was a distinguished neurophysiologist based at Cambridge, who made a significant contribution to our understanding of how muscle movements are controlled.
He was born in Woldingham in Kent, the son of Gerald Merton, an astronomer, and Mary Elizabeth Merton, a singer. He was educated at the Leys School, Beaumont, and at Cambridge. He completed his clinical training at St Thomas's Hospital, graduating in 1946.
From 1946 until 1957 he was on the staff of the Neurological Research Institute at Queen Square, researching human muscular reflexes. During the fifties he spent two years in Stockholm, working with Ragnar Granit of the Karolinska Institute. In 1957 he was appointed a lecturer in physiology at Cambridge University, becoming a reader in 1977, and subsequently a professor of human physiology, with a personal chair, in 1984. From 1979 he was also an honorary consultant in clinical neurophysiology at the National Hospital, Queen Square.
He married Anna Gabriel Howe, a drama teacher, in 1951. They had three daughters and a son. They separated in 1988.
[The Times 29 June 2000]
(Volume XI, page 395)
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