Lives of the fellows

Dennis James Pudifin

b.13 May 1934 d.3 December 2013
MB ChB Cape Town(1956) FCP SA(1961) MRCP(1970) FRCP(1979)

Dennis Pudifin was professor of medicine and deputy head of the department of medicine at the University of Natal. He was born in Grahamstown, South Africa, the son of Frederick Dennis Pudifin, a building contractor. He was educated at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth and then studied medicine at the University of Cape Town, qualifying in 1956.

He was an intern at Groote Schuur Hospital, and was then a registrar in medicine at Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, where he trained under John Cosnett [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web]. He then joined the department of medicine at King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban, as a consultant and lecturer. In 1970 he spent a year at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, researching into immunology.

In 1980 he was appointed professor of medicine and deputy head of the department of medicine at the University of Natal. His particular interests were immunology, AIDS, clinical medicine and teaching. He continued his research into immunology, publishing a number of papers with his colleague June Duursma.

He was an active member of the British Society for Immunology and the South African Immunology Society, of which he was president between 1987 and 1988, the South African Rheumatism and Arthritis Association, the South African Society of Haematology and the South African Medical Association. In 1961 he became a fellow of the College of Physicians of South Africa, and a fellow of the RCP in 1979.

He reached retirement age in 1994, but continued working as a physician and an emeritus professor until just before his death.

Dennis had a strong ethical code. He was devoted to the medical school and the department of medicine. He cared for his patients, and enjoyed teaching students.

Dennis’ first wife, Jillian Pamela née Hutt, predeceased him, as did their son, who tragically died in yachting accident in the Indian Ocean in 1976. He was survived by his daughter Collett from his first wife, who settled in Australia, and his second wife, Jenny, and their daughter, Sarah.

Y K Seedat

[Brit.med.J., 2014 348 1220]

(Volume XII, page web)

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