Lives of the fellows

Michael Stewart Rees Hutt

b.1 October 1922 d.29 March 2000
MRCS LRCP(1945) MB BS Lond(1945) MRCP(1946) MD(1949) MCPath(1963) FCPath(1967) FRCP(1967)

Michael Stewart Rees Hutt was professor of pathology at Makerere Medical School, Kampala, Uganda, and professor of geographical pathology at St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School from 1970 to 1983.

He was born in Shrewsbury, the son of Arthur Cyril Hutt, an engineer, and Dorothy Jesse née Peck, the daughter of a ship builder. He was educated at Eastbourne College, and then studied medicine at London University, at St Thomas’ Medical School. From 1945 to 1946 he was a casualty officer and house physician at St Thomas’, and then a senior house physician at St Peter’s Chertsey. From December 1946 to January 1949 he was a medical specialist in the RAF.

Following demobilisation, he became a medical registrar at St Thomas’, and then a lecturer and subsequently a senior lecturer in pathology. In 1957 he was appointed as a consultant pathologist at St Thomas’, and then, in 1962, became professor of pathology at Makerere University College, Uganda. Eights years later, in 1970, he returned to St Thomas’ as professor of geographical pathology.

At Makerere he was instrumental in reshaping the medical curriculum to meet the specific needs of Uganda, helping to train indigenous doctors to take over from expatriates before and during Idi Amin’s regime.

With Dennis Burkitt and others, Hutt mapped the distribution of various cancers in East Africa, and established a cancer register there. These included not only Burkitt’s lymphoma, but also Kaposi’s sarcoma (later associated with HIV and AIDS).

In London, Hutt helped to establish a system of diagnostic pathology for poorer nations, with histological specimens being sent in from tropical countries. He also helped train a large number of overseas students in pathology.

In Britain, he served on the Medical Research Council’s tropical medicine research board (from 1972 to 1976), the Inter-University Council’s Working Party for the Universities of East and Central Africa (from 1973 to 1978), and the Wellcome Trust’s tropical research grants committee. From 1991 to 1993 he was vice-president of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

He retired in 1983, but continued to support medicine in Africa, particularly Uganda, returning on a number of occasions for brief visits.

He married Elizabeth Mai née Newton-Jones in 1946 and they had three daughters and a son. One of his daughters, Jane Hutt, is a Welsh Assembly Member for the Vale of Glamorgan, and a former Welsh Minister for Health and Social services.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J., 2000, 321, 640-641; The Times 25 May 2000; The Independent 24 April 2000]

(Volume XII, page web)

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