Obituary: Professor Reginald Hall

Reginald Hall; endocrinologist: born Belmont, Co Durham 1 October 1931; Consultant Physician, Newcastle Area Health Authority 1966-80; Professor of Medicine, Newcastle University 1970-79; Professor of Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine 1980-89 (Emeritus); CBE 1989; FRSM 1994; married 1955 Joan Scott Patterson (died 1959; one daughter), 1960 Molly Hill (two sons, two daughters); died Cardiff 20 July 1994.

REGINALD HALL was a talented physician and clinical scientist, teacher and academic who established internationally acclaimed endocrine units in Newcastle and Cardiff, with special expertise in diseases of the thyroid and pituitary glands.

He was born in Belmont, Co Durham, in 1931 and was always proud of his Geordie heritage. He qualified in medicine in 1956 with First Class honours from Durham University following an outstanding undergraduate career which included a First Class honours intercalated BSc degree in physiology. In his early, formative years as a junior doctor he was particularly influenced by two physicians and endocrinologists at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle - Dr Natty Armstrong and Professor Sir George Smart. They encouraged him to pursue a career in academic medicine and endocrinology and, in 1960, he was awarded a prestigious Harkness Fellowship. This enabled him to undertake a period of research training at Harvard during which he first developed his lifelong interest in the thyroid gland. His work there formed the basis of his MD degree.

On his return to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle in 1967 he continued his thyroid research and his career became firmly established when he was appointed Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science from 1964 to 1967. In 1966 he was appointed Honorary Consultant Physician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and in 1970 he was awarded a personal chair in medicine by Newcastle University. In 1980 he was appointed Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff, until his premature retirement through ill-health in 1989 at the age of 58.

Having established endocrine units in both Newcastle and Cardiff he contributed greatly to their development as medical centres of excellence for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Although Hall's interests in endocrinology were broad, he was mainly concerned with diseases of the thyroid gland. He was President of the Thyroid Club of the UK from 1978 to 1984 and a leading contributor to the European Thyroid Association from its inception in 1968. Two particular events gave him enormous satisfaction. The first was the decision of the European Thyroid Association Committee to hold their Annual Scientific Meeting in Newcastle in 1978, the first time the association had met in the UK. The second was his completion, shortly after his retirement, of a brief history of the European Thyroid Association.

Hall attracted young doctors from all over the world to train with him in Newcastle and Cardiff. Many of these went on to become senior physicians and leaders in their own fields. He taught by example, in the same way as he managed his patients, with warmth, humour and compassion.

Reg Hall's CV lists over 400 scientific papers, innumerable chapters and reviews and several textbooks. He was the first to acknowledge the contributions of others and unstinting in his praise of them. He was a member of both the Cell and Systems Boards of the Medical Research Council from 1976 to 1980 and Chairman of the Systems Board Grants Committee in 1979. He also chaired the British Diabetic Association Review Body from 1981 to 1989 and the Royal College of Physicians Standing Committee on Endocrinology and Diabetes from 1983 to 1989.

At the peak of his career, and shortly after his appointment in Cardiff, Hall developed a rare and devastating illness, primary amyloidosis, which required heart transplantation in 1984. He faced his illness in a matter-of-fact manner, determined that it would make as little difference as possible to his commitments. He pursued his clinical work, research and teaching with undiminished vigour and continued his travels to meetings as an invited lecturer.

However, in 1989 he decided that the time had come for him to retire. True to form, he maintained his active interest in medical matters and over the last two years was in the process of writing a text on medical eponyms. But he had more freedom to pursue some of his other long-standing interests - he was an expert bryologist and had a large collection of mosses, gathered during his many travels.

Even during his final days Hall was pleased to receive further accolades in the form of an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Wales and his Fellowship of the Royal Society of Medicine.

(Photograph omitted)

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

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone