Lives of the fellows

David Purser Jones

b.9 October 1915 d.24 August 2005
MB ChB Liverpool(1938) MD(1944) FRCPC(1959) FRCP(1970)

David Purser Jones was a neurologist in British Columbia, Canada. He was born in Liverpool, the son of William Samuel Jones, a priest, and Eirene Jones née Davies, the daughter of a clergyman. He was educated at Leigh Grammar School and then went on to study medicine at Liverpool University, graduating in 1938.

During the Second World War he served in the Royal Navy.

He held junior posts at Liverpool Royal Infirmary in 1945, before beginning his training as a neurologist at Maida Vale Hospital in London in 1948. He stayed at Maida Vale until 1953, except for six months at the Maudsley Hospital and six months at the Children’s Medical Centre, Boston, USA.

He emigrated to Canada, to Vancouver, where he was a neurologist at Vancouver General and Shaughnessy hospitals. He also became a clinical instructor at the University of British Columbia, and subsequently an assistant professor and then an associate professor.

While at Maida Vale he worked with the neurologist Sam Nevin [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.428] and was the co-author of a seminal paper on Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) (‘Subacute spongiform encephalopathy – a subacute form of encephalopathy attributable to vascular dysfunction [spongiform cerebral atrophy]’ – Brain. 1960 Dec;83:519-64). In the paper the authors described eight cases of what would now be known as type 1 MM CJD. This became known as ‘Nevin-Jones’ disease. Despite showing that three of the cases had had neurosurgery in the previous two years, the authors attributed the pathology to vascular problems and not an infective agent.

Jones remained unmarried. Outside medicine, he listed sailing as his hobby when he was elected to the fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 1970. He died aged 89 in Whistler, Brisith Columbia.

RCP editor

[References:BCMJ, Vol. 48, No. 5, June 2006, pp.234-5]

(Volume XII, page web)

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