Colleagues will be greatly saddened to learn of the death, on 13 March 2006, of Dr David Meredith, Reader in Molecular Virology.
David Meredith had an international reputation as a scientist in the field of herpes virology, including herpes simplex virus, equine herpes virus and herpesvirus saimiri. His work on herpesvirus structural proteins led to a number of important advances. He built up a very productive research team and published over 40 papers in a range of highly respected journals, for a number of which he also acted as a referee. Undertaken in collaboration with Dr Ian Halliburton and Professor Dick Killington in the Department of Microbiology, Dr Merediths studies of equine herpes viruses and their proteins were extensively funded by the Equine Virology Research Foundation. His work also attracted substantial funding from the MRC, the Wellcome Trust, and other leading research bodies. In recent years, he had extended his research into gene therapy for the treatment of cancer, using herpes viruses as a vector. Jointly with Professor Alex Markham, Dr Meredith was awarded the first MRC programme grant in the School of Medicine, in 1994, for an investigation of gene therapy for colorectal cancer. He also worked with clinical colleagues in paediatric oncology in a research programme funded by the Candlelighters Trust. His work relating to the development of new strategies for gene therapy led to the filing of several patents.
Dr Meredith took his first degree at the University of Bristol and was awarded a PhD in Virology by Leeds in 1984. The initial stages of his career (1979-86) were spent as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry with G D Searle Ltd. In 1986, he was appointed to a Research Fellowship in the Department of Microbiology at Leeds, being appointed to a lectureship shortly thereafter. In 1994, he took up an appointment as Senior Lecturer in the Molecular Medicine Unit in the School of Medicine. He was promoted to Reader in Molecular Virology in 2002.