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Biographical entry Sanderson, John Maxwell (1918 - 1995)

MRCS and FRCS 1948; MB ChB Birmingham 1941.

9 September 1918
2 February 1995
Thoracic surgeon


John Maxwell Sanderson was born on 9 September 1918 in Birmingham. His father, Mark Albert, was a lamp manufacturer and his mother was Helen Kate Church, a farmer's daughter. He attended York House Preparatory School in Birmingham, followed by King Edward's High School. From there he went to Birmingham University Medical School with an entrance scholarship. His medical career was marked by some distinction. He gained honours in anatomy, materia medica, hygiene and public health and 2nd class honours in the MB ChB examination.

After qualifying he worked as a house surgeon, house physician and registrar in surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and then as a registrar at the Brompton Hospital in London and a senior registrar in thoracic surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Birmingham Regional Hospital Board. He was senior registrar in thoracic surgery at the London Hospital from 1951 to 1952 and was appointed consultant surgeon to North Staffordshire Hospital in 1952. He was subsequently appointed to a joint unit with Keele University and he established the Dunn Unit of Cardiology there. The University awarded him an honorary DSc in 1986.

During the war he served in the Merchant Navy from 1942 to 1945 as a ship's surgeon. He served as Chairman of the British Standards Committee for cardiovascular implants. He published on chemotherapy and pulmonary tuberculosis in 1963 and brain damage in dogs following pulsatile and non-pulsatile flow in extra-corporeal circulation in 1972.

In 1944 he married Jessie Duncan Brown and they had a daughter and a son. He was a keen and dedicated golfer and as a scratch player in his youth had represented Warwickshire. He died on 2 February 1995 survived by his children, his wife having pre-deceased him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1995 310 1598].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England