Lives of the fellows

Peter Jordan

b.10 May 1924 d.30 May 2006
CMG MB BS Lond(1946) MRCS LRCP(1946) MD(1959) MRCP(1972) MFCM(1974) FRCP(1978) FFCM(1988)

Peter (‘Pip’) Jordan was an expert on the tropical diseases schistosomiasis and filariasis, and director of the Rockefeller Foundation project studying methods of controlling schistosomiasis on the island of St Lucia. He was born in north London, the son of Harold Jordan, a chemist who worked with dyes. As a child Jordan developed a strong interest in biology and had decided to become a tropical diseases doctor by the age of 10. He was educated at Minchenden Secondary School in Southgate, London, and went on to St Bartholomew’s Medical School to study medicine.

He qualified in 1946 and was a house surgeon on the professorial unit at Bart’s, and then a resident medical officer at Dollis Hill Hospital. In 1947 he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve to carry out his National Service, serving on HMS Phoenicia in Malta, and on HMS Ocean and HMS Triumph.

In 1950 he joined the Colonial Medical Service, as a medical research officer in the filariasis research unit at the East African Research Institute in Mwanza, Tanganyika (later to become Tanzania). He later carried out epidemiological research into filariasis. From 1960 to 1965 he was director of the Institute.

In 1965 he went to Castries, on the island of St Lucia, as director of the newly-created Rockefeller Foundation project studying methods of controlling schistomiasis. Over the next 15 years research was carried out on chemotherapy, purifying water supplies and on snail control in ditches on the island’s banana plantations. The project was completed in 1981 and follow-up surveys showed schistosomiasis was no longer a public health issue on the island.

Jordan co-wrote Human schistosomiasis (Heinemann Educational Books, 1969) and also published a book on the St Lucia project – Schistosomiasis: the St Lucia project (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1985).

In 1949 Jordan married Jessie. They had a son and two daughters. He retired to Scotland. His wife predeceased him in 2002.

RCP editor

[The Times 7 August 2006; The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene – Tropical Medicine and Hygiene News Vol.55 Number 1, August 2006 www.astmh.org/source/newsletter/index.cfm?fuseaction=Newsletter.showThisIssue&Issue_ID=5&Article_ID=322 – accessed 1 October 2013]

(Volume XII, page web)

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