Lives of the fellows

John Marcus Stowers

b.3 March 1919 d.30 July 2001
MA Cantab(1941) MD Harvard(1943) MB BChir(1944) MRCP(1945) MRCP Edin(1959) FRCP Edin(1962) FRCP(1964) FRCOG(1983)

John Marcus Stowers was professor of diabetes and endocrinology at the University of Aberdeen. He was born in Nagpur, India, the son of Raymond Stowers, a general practitioner and police surgeon, and Enid Elizabeth née Gunn, the daughter of a consultant ophthalmologist. He was educated at Stowe School and then went on to study at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He won a Rockefeller studentship to Harvard, graduating MD (magna cum laude) in 1943. He gained his MB BChir in 1944.

During 1944 he was a house physician to Sir Harold Himsworth [Munk’s Roll, Vol. IX, p.238] at University College Hospital (UCH). He then held posts as casualty medical officer and temporary assistant on the medical unit at UCH. From 1945 to 1947 he was a medical registrar at the West London Hospital, and then joined the Royal Army Medical Corps for two years, as a medical specialist.

Following demobilisation, he returned to the medical unit at UCH, as an assistant. In 1953 he was appointed as a senior lecturer in medicine at St Andrews University. He moved to Aberdeen in 1961, as a consultant physician with a special interest in metabolic diseases and diabetes at the Royal Infirmary, in charge of the diabetic service for the Grampian region. In 1977, he was appointed clinical reader in medicine at the University of Aberdeen, and two years later became professor of diabetes and endocrinology.

As well as being a full-time clinician, he was also a dedicated researcher. He had a particular interest in type two diabetes, and was an early exponent of tight diabetic control in pregnancy. He published many papers and delivered several prestigious lectures.

In 1948, he married Mary Catherine Violet Alabaster, the daughter of George Herbert Alabaster, a general practitioner and surgeon. They had one son (Christopher), two daughters (Janet and Caroline) and eight grandchildren. He enjoyed gardening and trout fishing. As a student he captained the Trinity Hall squash team and once represented the University of London. He had insulin dependent diabetes for much of his life, and died from cancer of the prostate.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J., 323 2001 939; J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2002; 32:70; Diabetes UK www.diabetes.org.uk/About_us/Who_we_are/History/Diabetes-UK-Roll-of-Honour/#Stowers]

(Volume XII, page web)

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