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Peter Campbell

We are sorry to have to report the recent death of Professor Peter Campbell as a result of a tragic accident. Peter was Head of the Biochemistry Department when it occupied several Victorian houses, 9 Hyde Terrace, and was in post from 1967 until 1975. His time as Head of Department was one of rapid expansion and many new staff were recruited, broadening the research interests of the Department considerably. He resigned from his post at Leeds in December 1975, in order to return to the Middlesex Hospital Medical School as Courtauld Professor of Biochemistry and Director of the Courtauld Institute.

Peter Campbell was a distinguished scientist, with an international reputation in the field of protein synthesis. He held a number of prestigious scientific offices during his career, including Chairman of the Association of Researchers in Medicine and Science. He played major roles in the Biochemical Society and also in FEBS (the Federation of European Biochemical Societies) and IUB (the International Union of Biochemistry). In 2000, he received the Distinguished Service Award of the IUB, and held Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Sofia and Tbilisi. The author of a large number of scientific papers, he also founded the journal Biochemical Education and edited or authored a number of books, including the Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The fifth edition of his student text (with Tony Smith and Tim Peters), Biochemistry Illustrated, is just about to appear and he had been working on this up to the time of the accident. This book has been very successful and has been translated into several languages.

Peter Campbell travelled widely and advised people in many parts of the world on how to run Biochemistry courses and how to teach Biochemistry to medical students. As a result of his work in this area, a number of interdepartmental links were set up with support from The British Council and other organisations. A link with Ghana, for example, was established with Leeds, the forerunner of several such links. A great supporter of young Biochemists, especially in developing countries, Peter worked tirelessly to get them funds to attend meetings or to come to Leeds or London to do PhDs.

He retired several years ago, but kept a room in University College, London, from which he administered a scheme called SARS, the Scientific Apparatus Recycling Scheme. He sought out old or redundant equipment from Departments in the UK and had it checked and refurbished, and then sent to universities in Eastern Europe and Africa using funds he obtained from a variety of sources.

He was fit and active until the time of his death. He leaves a wife, Mollie, and two children, Alistair and Julia.