Lives of the fellows

Keith Deans Buchanan

b.24 June 1934 d.23 July 2004
MB ChB Glasgow(1958) MRCP Edin(1961) MRCP Glasg(1962) MRCP(1964) MD(1969) FRCP Glasg(1971) PhD Belfast(1973) FRCP Edin(1973) FRCP(1977) MRCPI(1985) FRCPI(1986) FMedSci(1998)

Keith Deans Buchanan was professor of metabolic medicine at Queen’s University, Belfast, a consultant physician at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and a pioneer in the field of neuroendocrinology. He was born in Glasgow, the son of James and Helen Buchanan née Watson, and educated at Glasgow University. He gained numerous prizes, including the McFarland prize in medicine, and represented the university at rugby.

From 1959 to 1962, he was Hall tutorial fellow in medicine at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, under Leslie Davis [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.143] and Edward McGirr [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XI, p.362]. He was then a registrar and subsequently a senior registrar in medicine, Glasgow Royal Infirmary. During this period he gained his membership of the Royal Colleges of Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. While he was a senior registrar, he was given leave of absence for 18 months to study in the United States. He was a senior research fellow and then instructor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism in the department of medicine, University of Seattle, Washington. After returning to Glasgow, he completed his MD on glucagon.

In 1968, he was appointed as a senior lecturer in the department of medicine at Queen’s University Belfast and as a consultant physician at the Royal Victoria Hospital. He was made a professor of metabolic medicine in 1976.

During his early years at Belfast he built up the research department. In 1973 he gained a PhD from Queen’s on the pancreatic-enteric hormones. Afterwards he supervised more than 50 successful MD and PhD students. He also set up a specialist clinic for neuroendocrine tumour patients and a register of cases in Ireland. He retired in 1999.

He wrote more than 350 publications. He gave several named lecturers, including the R D Lawrence lecture of the British Diabetic Association, the Grave’s lecture of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland and the Novo-Nordisk lecture of the Irish Endocrine Society. He was given the John William Clark award of the British Medical Association in 1987 for his research into blindness, and was a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia and of the University of Ulm in Germany.

Outside medicine, he was a keen golfer and swimmer. He trained and mentored young swimmers, some reaching Commonwealth and Olympic standard. He was president of the Ulster branch of the Irish Amateur Swimming Association and published a number of sports-related papers. He was also a prolific poet.

He was married to Maureen and they had four children.

RCP editor

[, 2005 330 312; J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2005;35:190-191]

(Volume XII, page web)

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