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Biographical entry McDonagh, James Eustace Radcliffe (1881 - 1965)

MRCS 1906; FRCS 1909; LRCP 1906.

17 October 1881
14 February 1965


James McDonagh was born in London on 17 October 1881, and was educated at Bedford School and St Bartholomew's Hospital. He also studied in Vienna. Qualifying with the Conjoint Diploma in 1906, he subsequently worked for the Fellowship which he obtained in 1909. In his practice he developed a special interest in venereal disease, and was appointed surgeon to the London Lock Hospital. For a time he lectured on venereology at St Bartholomew's, and gave a Hunterian Lecture at the College of Surgeons in 1916.

His chief interest, however, was in research into the nature of disease, and into the treatment of various diseases by the newer drugs - Ehrlich entrusted to him the first consignment to this country of Salvarsan 606 which revolutionized the treatment of syphilis. In 1929 he founded the Nature of Disease Institute, of which he was Director, and the work which he did there formed the basis of a large number of publications, including a text book on venereal diseases.

He was a cultured man with a great love for flowers and flowering shrubs which he cultivated in the garden of his home at Storrington, and later after his move to Stowmarket, where he died on 14 February 1965. He will be remembered in the College for a collection of nearly 300 19th century skin disease portraits which he presented to the library in 1959.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1965, 1, 594].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England