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In Memoriam: Professor Roger Williams CBE

Updated on: 28 Jul 2020   First published on 27 Jul 2020

Author:  Dr Alastair McKinlay 

The BSG was saddened to hear of the death of Prof Roger Williams on Sunday, 26th July. Roger Williams was a long-time member of the Society and was hugely important in the shaping and development of Hepatology in Britain, through a long and illustrious career.

He saw the importance of liver transplantation very early in its development and as a result the need to establish a national program within the UK. His research and academic interests were so diverse that virtually every field of hepatology benefited from his vision and drive for excellence.  Where others saw barriers, Roger would see opportunities on which he focused all his formidable intellect and determination.

The lives of many patients with liver disease were greatly improved by his work. A huge cohort of hepatology trainees were influenced and inspired by his leadership and went on to develop the specialty here and across the world.  He remained an active and passionate advocate for improvement in the care of patients with liver disease to the end of his life, most recently through the Lancet Commission.

We will publish a formal appreciation of his life and work in due course, but at the moment our thoughts are with his family and friends, to whom we send our sincere condolences at this time of loss.

Fear death?—to feel the fog in my throat,

The mist in my face,

When the snows begin, and the blasts denote

I am nearing the place,…

For the journey is done and the summit attained,

And the barriers fall,…

I was ever a fighter, so—one fight more,

The best and the last!

 From Prospice, by Robert Browning


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