Lives of the fellows

Roy Goulding

b.15 November 1916 d.30 December 2003
OBE BSc Lond(1938) MRCS LRCP(1950) MB BS(1950) MD(1956) MRCP(1965) FRCP(1971) FRCPath(1979) FFOM(1989)

Roy Goulding was a leading toxicologist and the founder and director of the National Poisons Information Service at Guy’s Hospital in London. He was born in Putney, London, the son of Joseph William Goulding, a local garage owner who eventually became a small-holder in Essex, and Edith Caroline née Cheyney, the daughter of a building contractor. Goulding was educated at Newport Grammar School, in Essex, and then went on to study agriculture at London University, graduating in 1938. During the Second World War he was an adviser on food production.

After the war, inspired by his friend the pathologist Francis Camps [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.88], Goulding decided to study medicine at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, where he developed his interest in toxicology. He held house posts at Guy’s, and then, in 1951, became an assistant lecturer and then lecturer in pharmacology at Guy’s.

He then became an adviser to the Ministry of Health, with special responsibility for pharmacology and toxicology. In this role he was responsible for helping to establish the legislative and advisory bodies which deal with toxicological problems in Britain and abroad.

In 1963, assisted by Sir Keith Simpson [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VIII, p.462], Goulding founded the National Poisons Information Service at Guy’s, and become the director. Four years later, a laboratory was set up at New Cross Hospital to complement the service, and the name ‘the Poisons Unit’ was adopted. The unit went on to establish a worldwide reputation.

Goulding wrote articles, chapters in books on poisoning, edited (with E Boyland) Modern trends in toxicology 1 (London, Butterworths, 1968) and Modern trends in toxicology 2 (London, Butterworths, 1974) and wrote Poisoning (Oxford, Blackwell Scientific, 1983).

Goulding was visiting professor of toxicology at the University of Surrey and president of the European Association of Poisons Control Centres and Clinical Toxicologists and president of the Medico-Legal Society. He was for many years a member and later chairman of the scientific sub-committee of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, the committee which approves all pesticides for use in the UK.

Outside medicine, he enjoyed various sports, including football, tennis, cricket, long-distance running and also sailing. In 1940 he married Molly Lilian née Fowler, the daughter of a stationer. They had one son.

RCP editor

[The Times 6 February 2004; LTG (formerly London Toxicology Group) – accessed 21 September 2010]

(Volume XII, page web)

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