Lives of the fellows

Graham Allan Currie

b.17 August 1939 d.9 October 2016
MB BS Lond(1963) MRCP(1966) MD(1974) FRCPath(1982) FRCP(1985)

Graham Currie was a physician, scientist and director of research at the Marie Curie Research Institute. He was born in Merton, London. His father, Allan Currie, was a car mechanic and his mother, Dorothy née Fuller, was a cleaner. He attended Raynes Park High School and he went on to study medicine at Charing Cross Hospital. He qualified in 1963, winning the University of London gold medal, gaining distinctions in all five subjects. On being told he was to receive the gold medal, he asked if he could have it in bronze instead and receive the difference. He spent the cash on a J D Salinger book.

His first post was as house physician to Hugh de Wardener [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web] and Kenneth Bagshawe at Fulham Hospital, before becoming a registrar. Whilst working with Kenneth Bagshawe at the Edgar Laboratories, Fulham, he authored and co-authored a number of papers on trophoblastic tumours. In 1969 he was recruited by Gordon Hamilton Fairley [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.215] to work in block X of the Chester Beatty Institute. Between 1974 and 1982 he was a senior lecturer at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and honorary consultant physician at the Royal Marsden. During this period, he published several papers on cancer immunology, in particular, with reference to the treatment of malignant melanoma.

In 1983 he became the director of research at the Marie Curie Research Institute in Oxted. Employing scientists from Russia, Japan, China, Hungary and other European countries, he transformed the institute into one of the world’s leading cancer research centres.

As well as authoring many papers, he wrote two books – Cancer and the immune response (London, Arnold, 1974) and Cancer: the biology of malignant disease (London, Edward Arnold, 1982). In 1987 he became one of the founding editors of Oncogene.

In 1964, he married his fellow Charing Cross student, Angela (née Wright), who became a GP. They had four children (Sarah, Emma, Lucy and Dominic) and two grandchildren. According to his self-penned Who’s who entry, he listed his recreations as ‘art, music, gardens, sleep’.

Dominic Currie

(Volume XII, page web)

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