John Newsom-Davis - CV and publications list from JOHN NEWSOM-DAVIS. 18 October 1932 — 24 August 2007

2019-08-23T12:46:39Z (GMT) by Angela Vincent
John Newsom-Davis (‘JND’) was a neurologist who played an important role in the discovery of the causes of, and treatments for, myasthenia gravis (MG), and of other diseases of the nerve–muscle junction. He started his career at the National Hospital in London, becoming director of the Batten Unit there, with an interest in respiratory physiology. He began to work on MG in collaboration with Ricardo Miledi (FRS 1970) at University College London and in 1978, after performing the first study on plasma exchange in that disease, he established an MG research group at the Royal Free Hospital, subsequently identifying the role of the thymus in this disease and demonstrating an autoimmune basis for the Lambert–Eaton myasthenic syndrome and ‘seronegative’ myasthenia. He was awarded the first Medical Research Council Clinical Research Professorship in 1979 but moved to Oxford in 1987 when he was elected Action Research Professor of Neurology. While at Oxford he continued to run a very successful multidisciplinary group, and began the molecular work that identified the genetic basis for many forms of congenital myasthenic syndrome. He also helped to establish the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) Centre. Meanwhile he was also involved in university and college governance and contributed widely to the Medical Research Council, government committees, and the Association of British Neurologists (ABN). Among many honours, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996 and made a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) in the USA in 2001. Following retirement from Oxford, he was President of the ABN and Editor of Brain, and led a National Institutes of Health-funded international trial of thymectomy.

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