New Honorary Fellowships awarded by Royal College

Six new Honorary Fellowships were conferred by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow at a ceremony in Glasgow this week.

The prestigious awards were made to a range of senior medical professionals and other leading figures from across the world, who gathered in Glasgow as part of the medical college’s latest Admissions Ceremony.

Receiving the award were:

Dame Parveen Kumar

Dame Parveen Kumar was Academic Sub-Dean at Barts and later the first Director of Postgraduate Medical Education. She co-founded and co-edited the textbook Clinical Medicine, which is now a standard classic work, used worldwide and in its 9th edition. In 1999, Professor Kumar was the first recipient of the Asian Women of the Year (Professional) award. In 2000 she was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of her services to medicine.

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Prof Kumar was born in Lahore and moved to the UK in her early teenage years, before studying medicine at St Bartholomews Hospital (one of 8 women among 160 men). She trained in Gastroenterology and in 1982 was appointed Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist at Homerton Hospital. In 1999, she was appointed Professor of Medicine and Education at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Queen Mary University of London.

Prof Kumar is one of the leading figures in our profession worldwide and has held numerous senior positions including President of the BMA, President of the Royal Society of Medicine, and President of the Medical Women's Federation.

She was a founding non-executive director of NICE, was Chair of the Medicines Commission UK, and is known to generations of medical students for her indispensible textbook “Kumar and Clark’s Clinical Medicine”, now in its 9th edition.

Prof Kumar continues to teach, lecture and examine doctors and medical students around the world, and set up the Global Health Initiative at the Royal Society of Medicine when she was President.
She was awarded the BMA Gold Medal for services to Medicine and Education, the BMJ Award for Outstanding Contribution to Health, and was the first Asian Professional Woman of the year in 1999. She has received many honorary degrees and other honours and is a trustee of the British Youth Opera and several charities. Prof Kumar was awarded CBE in 2000 then was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2017 for services to Medicine and Medical education. In addition to all this, Prof Kumar is a friend of this College and indeed gave the Keynote lecture at last years flagship “Medicine-24” meeting on the important topic of “Caring for the profession”.

Professor Malcolm Nicolson

Professor Malcolm Nicolson has been an instrumental part of the University of Glasgow since 1990 and for 29 years has fostered the closest relationships between the Centre for the History of Medicine and the College.

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The history of medicine has an, at times, uneasy relationship with the practice of medicine itself. The truth usually stands somewhere between history as hagiography and history as iconoclasm and can bear fruit when both are at play. Historians of medicine play a vital role in the process, detailing both the successes of medicine in addressing suffering while at the same time exposing the human frailties of clinicians, the serendipity of medical discovery and perhaps most importantly allowing the narrative of patients too, to be told.

Professor Malcolm Nicholson trained first in biological sciences in Aberdeen and with a PhD in the history of medicine following from the University of Edinburgh his subsequent postdoctoral honing was under the influence of the unique Roy Porter in London. Professor Nicolson has been on the staff of the University of Glasgow since 1990 and over the 29 years has fostered the closest relationship between the Centre for the History of Medicine and the College.
His prolific output of work has reflected the history of medicine in Scotland (and beyond) over that period and has contributed significantly to historical scholarship in a number of areas. Under Professor Nicholson’s leadership, the Centre maintains an active programme of teaching of medical students to give them an understanding of the roots of current clinical practice. At postgraduate level, research uses archival material at the College and the knowledge and skills of the Heritage and Library staff to considerable mutual advantage. Professor Nicholson has been supervisor to a significant number of doctoral candidates – including members and fellows of this college – in a wide range of themes. A key part of Professor Nicolson’s contribution to the dissemination of knowledge and scholarship in the history of medicine has been the programme of seminars run monthly at the College through the academic year which garners contributions from a wide range of internationally renowned scholars and researchers.

In his own research he has given unique insights into the work of historical figures such as James Young Simpson and Giovanni Batista Morgagni. He’s also become something of the go-to medical historian for the media with involvement in documentary work on BBC 2 and Radio 4 and giving impeccable period detail to Call the Midwife and Mr Selfridge on BBC1.

There will come with this nomination a wry, Hebridean smile from Professor Nicolson and the hope would be that in awarding the Fellowship – and in effect making him one of our own - we are not attempting to thus neutralise his gently critical voice. Rather we as a community of clinicians simply thus mark his key contributions to the life of the College.

Professor Peter Cavanagh

Professor Peter Cavanagh is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA. He is President of both the American Society of Biomechanics and the International Society of Biomechanics and has received the Borelli Award and the Muybridge Medal for these societies.

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Professor Cavanagh is Emeritus Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of Washington and Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Pennsylvania State University.

Born and raised in the UK, Professor Cavanagh is trained in physical education, mathematics, anatomy and human biomechanics at Loughborough College, the University of London, and the Royal Free Hospital Medical School where he gained his Batchelor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science Degrees. In 1972 he embarked on a 30-year career at the Pennsylvania State University. In 1981, he was appointed Professor of Biomechanics and later became Director of the world-renowned Center for Locomotion Studies. Penn State Biomechanics, under Professor Cavanagh’s direction, continually sought out ways to apply biomechanics knowledge to develop solutions to problems in musculoskeletal health, sport, exercise, injury, and rehabilitation. This, and in particular his ground-breaking work on the biomechanics and treatment of diabetic foot ulceration, has had far-reaching impact on Podiatric Medicine.

More broadly, his research at Penn State led to the development of the ‘zero-gravity’ treadmill used by NASA on the International Space station. His research on bone-loss during long-duration space flight culminated in his 2015 Distinguished Public Service Medal award – the highest civilian honour given by NASA. In biomechanics he has been awarded the Muybridge Medal and the Borelli Award and in diabetes the Edward James Omos award for amputation prevention as well as the International Diabetic Foot Award.

Professor Cavanagh has published more than 200 referred papers, 7 books, and 33 book chapters. A remarkable portfolio of patents and spin-out companies emphasises the translational value of his science and it wider impact on society.

A notable humanitarian and environmentalist, Professor Cavanagh has wider interests in wildlife photography, running, and spending time with his family.

Professor Mehmet Haberal

Professor Mehmet Haberal is the Founder and President of the Executive Supreme Board of Baskent University Ankara. He is also Chair of the University’s Division of Transplantation, President of the Transplantation Society and President of the Burn and Fire Disaster Institute.

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Mehmet Haberal was born in 1944 in the north eastern part of Turkey, in a province bordering the Black Sea. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential and distinguished surgeons of his generation.

He completed his undergraduate medical education in the University of Ankara in Turkey in 1967, finished his general surgical training in his home country in 1971 before gaining some experience in the Shriners Burns Institute and John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas. He then seized the opportunity to work with the renowned pioneering transplant surgeon Dr Thomas Starzl who at that time was in the University of Colorado Medical School Transplantation Center in Denver (1974-75).

As of about this time last year Prof Haberal had performed some 2844 renal transplant procedures and almost 600 liver transplants. This is a unique and phenomenal personal experience. His clinical experience is peppered with a string of remarkable firsts. In 1975 he performed the very first living related donor kidney transplant in Turkey, and some three years later the first cadaveric procedure in that country.

He was the first to perform a successful cadaveric liver transplant in Turkey and was responsible for the first European paediatric living related donor liver transplant, the first adult segmental living related liver transplantation in the world and the first combined liver and kidney transplant procedure from a living related donor anywhere in the world.

He has been an active researcher throughout his career and has received more than 40 international awards in medicine, is a member of 35 national and international societies and has contributed to almost 2000 scientific publications in both Turkish and English. He is a member of at least 12 editorial boards.

In terms of visionary leadership, he founded Baskent University from the Organ Transplant and Burns Treatment Foundation and the university now has 11 faculties, 7 educational institutes and 6 vocational schools. There are almost 8000 undergraduate students and a further 800 graduate students across the disciplines. Prof Haberal is President of the Executive Supreme Board of Baskent University and also chairs the Division of Transplantation.

He established the Middle East Dialysis and Organ Transplantation Foundation to facilitate organ sharing and procurement throughout the region. He is Founder and President of the Middle East Burn and Fire Disaster Society, Past President of the International Society for Burn Injuries In 2012 he founded the World Academy of Medical, Biomedical and Ethical Sciences. He the current President of the Transplantation Society. He has organised more than 30 national and international scientific meetings in Turkey and is a member of 35 national and international medical societies.

In 2009 he became an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and has since been elected to the Board of Governors in 2014. He has fostered strong clinical training links between Baskent in Ankara and Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He also received the Distinguished Philanthropist Award from the American College and is an Honorary Fellow of the American Surgical Association. He holds similar honorary fellowship awards from the Jordanian Surgical Society, the Argentinean Academy of Medicine and he is a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine as well as several honorary doctorates.

You will appreciate that I have given you a brief sample of his impressive career. It staggers me to realise that in addition to all of this he served as a Member of Parliament in Turkey following success in the Turkish general election in June 2011.

Dr Steven Wexner

Dr Steven Wexner is the Director of the Digestive Disease Center and has been a key person at Cleveland Clinic, Florida since 1988. He has been the Chairman of Colorectal Surgery since 1993.

The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth

The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth (pictured on the left) is a senior priest in a very busy city centre cathedral where regular congregations have almost doubled in 11 years.

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Born in Yorkshire but educated mainly in Scotland, Kelvin is a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church and is currently the Provost and Rector of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, a post he has held since 2006. In that role he has contributed significantly to the dialogue in Scotland and the UK surrounding the opening of marriage to same-sex couples and for this he is most widely known, campaigning firstly for changes in Scots Law to allow such marriages and then changes to Canon Law to allow them to take place in church. He was the first Anglican priest outside North America to hold a license to marry same-sex couples. Kelvin has used his position to influence public policy on issues affecting LGBT people, particularly in the area of mental and physical health, and is considered one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK.

While Kelvin’s public persona and position is well documented what is less well known is his commitment to excellence in all aspects of Christian worship and his desire to make the Church open, inclusive and welcoming. These are the words used in all St Mary’s literature and the ethos put forward at every opportunity by Kelvin. Those values were exemplified by an event two years ago in which local Muslims and Christians came together to share their stories about the birth of Christ in St Mary’s Cathedral.

St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow has seen attendances rise significantly and under his stewardship St Mary’s has become a centre of excellence in liturgy, music and art as well as providing valuable support to the local community in the West End of Glasgow. Kelvin has said that healthy people require healthy institutions and his own ministry both inside and outside his Church has demonstrated the appropriateness of this comment. As the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow is an institution dedicated to the health and welfare of others both in and outside the city, it is fitting that the College recognises the efforts of other institutions and individuals who contribute to that. As an adopted son of Glasgow, a committed campaigner against discrimination of any sort and an advocate for the disadvantaged and dispossessed he is well worthy of recognition by the College.

Speaking at the ceremony, College President Professor Jackie Taylor said:

“As an international organisation which promotes excellence in medicine, our college is honoured to confirm our association with this distinguished range of medical professionals and thought leaders from throughout the world.
“Their significant and substantial contributions range from scholarship which serves as a benchmark for medical education throughout the world, telling the proud history of medicine, providing spiritual leadership, to producing world class research in biomechanics.
“It is a privilege to admit these distinguished individuals to our college.”

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