Obituary: Professor Alan Lendrum

Alan Chalmers Lendrum, pathologist: born Kirkliston, Lothian 3 November 1906; Professor of Pathology, St Andrews University 1947-67; Professor of Pathology, Dundee University 1967-72 (Emeritus); Chairman of Governors, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee 1975-77; married 1934 Elizabeth Bertram (died 1983; two sons, one daughter), 1984 Dr Ann Sandison; died Sedbergh 2 January 1994.

ALAN LENDRUM's main contributions to the scientific study of disease were the numerous advances he made on processing and staining tissues from operations and post-mortems. By painstaking research on a wide range of dyes, he devised ways of identifying different types of cells and related structures. These methods enabled him to interpret more clearly the changes in blood vessels, of kidneys and other organs, from patients with high blood pressure and with diabetes. They also led to research by his assistants on obstetric, cardiac, pulminary, intestinal and bone-marrow pathology.

Lendrum was Professor Emeritus of Pathology at Dundee University. A son of the manse, he was born at Kirkliston, Lothian, in 1906, of a distinguished family from Aberdeenshire and Angus; he was a great-grandson of Thomas Guthrie, the philanthropist. He was Professor of Pathology at St Andrews from 1947 to 1967 and at Dundee from 1967 to 1972.

A graduate of Glasgow University, Lendrum was educated at Glasgow High School and Ardross Academy and had postgraduate training at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, under Sir Robert Muir, father of Scottish pathology. He lectured in Glasgow and was OC Medical Unit Senior Training Corps before going to Dundee. He was a founder fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and Associate of the Royal Photographic Society.

Lendrum was a generous and genial chief, open to access by juniors and ready to debate on any subject, not necessarily medical. He was an honorary member of the Dialectic Society of Glasgow University. Indeed his quick repartee was not always appreciated by more pompous professorial colleagues.

His intense interest in technical matters led to a happy relationship with non-medical staff and to friendships unharmed by political struggles which plagued other hospital laboratories. This mutual respect led to Lendrum's honorary membership and presidency of the Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences. The artistry which he showed in staining methods was enhanced by a flair for meticulous photography and elegant writing.

Lendrum's work was well recognised overseas: he was Visiting Professor at Yale in 1960 and an honorary member of Societies of Pathology in the Netherlands and Argentina. He made major contributions to two books - Recent Advances in Clinical Pathology (1948) and Trends in Clinical Pathology (1969) - and wrote many other scientific papers.

Lendrum's holidays were often spent painting in the West Highlands; he was an accomplished artist and, from 1975 to 1977, chairman of the governors of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. He also played the piano, sang in the church choir and was a kirk elder for over 40 years.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence