Search site



Obituary: Emeritus Professor Glyn Evans

Members will be very sorry to learn of the death, on 4 August 2003, of Emeritus Professor Glyn Evans, former Professor of Medical Mycology in the School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

His longstanding friend and colleague, Professor Keith Holland, has contributed the following obituary:

Born in 1941, Glyn Evans studied at the University of Wales, Cardiff, as a botanist before beginning a PhD in Medical Mycology at Glasgow University. His research training, inspired by Professor Gentles, convinced Glyn that he should specialise and make a career for himself in the area of Medical Mycology. Glyn came to Leeds University in 1970 on a joint appointment as a Lecturer in the Department of Bacteriology and Dermatology at the General Infirmary at Leeds. He was charged to provide teaching in Medical Mycology, pursue research in this subject area and provide a Mycology diagnostic service to the NHS. At that time the majority of fungal infections were superficial and the dangerous systemic infections caused by fungi and Candida species were minor in number. Glyn quickly realised that with new medical procedures systemic infections would increase in number and he then shifted his research emphasis to the difficult and crucial problem of reliable laboratory diagnosis. He was subsequently asked to Chair a National Working Party on serodiagnostic tests, a position he held for eleven years. His career from this point blossomed and he soon became a renowned figure in Medical Mycology at both the national and international level. Promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1979, he was appointed Professor of Medical Mycology in 1993.

Glyns energy and enthusiasm for Medical Mycology never diminished and at Leeds he was responsible for the design, development and delivery of much of the undergraduate teaching in Medical Mycology. His wealth of knowledge in his chosen subject area, combined with humorous and studied delivery, was much appreciated by students. His international standing attracted overseas students to join his MSc Medical Mycology programme of study and his bi-annual course in Diagnostic Medical Mycology, run under the auspices of the British Society for Medical Mycology and delivered at Leeds, was always fully subscribed. His influence on young microbiologists to develop an interest in Medical Mycology was exemplary. He trained many PhD students, a goodly proportion of whom stayed in the subject area after being infected with his enthusiasm for the subject. He was regularly invited by past students who now teach and research Medical Mycology to travel outside the UK to lecture and advise.

Glyns breadth and depth of understanding in his research area, combined with his vast experience of fungal infections and their diagnosis, led to ever increasing demands to advise national and international bodies and the pharmaceutical industries on developments in therapies and diagnosis of the ever increasing number of these infections. He was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK) in 1992, one of the few to achieve this status without a clinical qualification. His vast experience in Medical Mycology enabled Leeds, in a highly competitive situation, to become a National Medical Mycology Reference Laboratory for the Public Health Laboratory Service, which he headed until his departure.

Glyn served, with distinction, on innumerable national and international working groups and committees concerned with monitoring and promoting Medical Mycology and giving advice on therapies. He was an active member on many editorial boards for both British and European Journals and was Chief Editor of the Journal of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology from 1987 to 1994. He was honoured by the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology by being nominated its President from 1997 to 2000.

Highly committed to Medical Mycology, Glyn Evans would always fight his corner for the subject and its resourcing. He gave the same commitment to departmental and University duties, of which he had many. He was a totally reliable and well-liked colleague who gave pragmatic advice to all who had the sense to ask and listen to him.

Professor Evans retired in October 2001, following which the title of Emeritus Professor was conferred upon him. Despite moving back to Wales, the country of his birth, he continued, as Visiting Professor, to maintain research links with his former School.

The funeral will take place at 2.15 p.m. on Friday 15 August 2003, at Thornhill Crematorium, Thornhill Road, Cardiff. Donations in memory of Professor Evans may be made to the League of Friends of Llandough Hospital, Llandough Hospital, Penlan Road, Llandough, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XX.

Professor Evans is survived by his wife, Rosalind, and their two sons, Alun and Hywel.

Published: 12 August 2003