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In Memoriam: Professor Lionel Fry

Updated on: 24 Feb 2021   First published on 24 Feb 2021

Author:  Dr Alastair McKinlay 

Lionel Fry

The BSG was saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Lionel Fry at the age of 87. He was one of the most significant dermatologists of his generation, running a demanding NHS department at St Mary’s Hospital in London whilst founding and leading a pioneering research unit which discovered new ways of alleviating psoriasis.

He is also credited with finding a remedy for the rare skin ailment dermatitis herpetiformis, linked to coeliac disease. Working with haematologist Victor Hoffbrand, he was the first to demonstrate that dermatitis herpetiformis is a manifestation of gluten sensitivity and showed that a gluten-free diet can help treat the condition.

Lionel combined the roles of academic and clinician with great success, equally admired for his research work, his lectures, and his bedside manner with patients. Respected by colleagues and feared by hospital managers, he was hugely committed to the NHS, and will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time, to whom we send our sincere condolences.


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