In Memoriam: LSTM Dean Professor Wallace Peters (1924 - 2018)

News article 2 Jan 2019
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Professor Wallace Peters (Photo from RSTMH)

It is with great sadness that LSTM has learned of the passing of its former Dean, Professor Wallace Peters, late December 2018.

Dr Peters joined LSTM from the Swiss Pharmaceutical Company Ciba-Geigy in 1966 as Professor of Parasitology having previously worked with WHO as a malariologist in Liberia and Papua New Guinea. He was a pioneer in malaria chemotherapy and initiated work on Leishmaniasis in LSTM during the 1970s. He became Dean of LSTM following the retirement of the previous Dean, Professor Brian Maegraith in 1975. He was instrumental in the recruitment of LSTM's recently retired lead in Neglected Tropical Diseases and previous LSTM Director, Professor David Molyneux as well as Professor Dick Ashford and Dr Michael Chance. He later went to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to become Professor of Protozoology and was President of both the British Society for Parasitology and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Professor Wallace Peters authored over 600 scientific papers and books, most notably the 'Atlas of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology' the first editions of which were co-authored with his friend and LSTM colleague the late Professor Herbert Gilles as well as 'Anti-Malarial Drugs', which has guided research on malarial chemotherapy and prevention. He summarised his life in Tropical Medicine in a book entitled Four Passions, which was published during his retirement.

His work was recognised in an extensive list of awards, including Germany's Rudolf Leuckart Medal (1980); Saudi Arabia's King Faisal International Prize for Medicine(1983); the Joseph Augustin LePrince Medal for his work in malariology (1994) and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene's Sir Patrick Manson Medal (2004).

In a response LSTM's Director Professor David Lalloo said: "Professor Peters' passing is very sad news indeed. He was very supportive to many of LSTM's senior researchers throughout his professional career and we will be always grateful for his scientific contribution to LSTM's research success."

Professor Peters became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in 1978 and donated a substantial part of his archive to the RCP in 2017.