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Biographical entry Snell, Michael Edward (1936 - 1999)

MRCS and FRCS 1951; MB ChB Cambridge 1960; Mchir.

22 September 1999


Mike Snell was a consultant urologist at St Mary's Hospital, London. He was born in Nyasaland (now Malawi), where his father was a tea and coffee planter. He studied medicine at St Mary's, where he qualified in 1960, and was very much influenced by Kenneth Owen. After several junior posts, he decided to specialise in urology, and became resident surgical officer at St Peter's Hospital for the Stone in 1967.

After a year in Stanford, California, he was appointed to the staff of St Mary's in 1970. There he played a major role in the development of renal transplantation and in the surgery of renal artery stenosis, then believed to be an important cause of remediable hypertension. He helped voluntarily at Great Ormond Street, and became an expert in the developing field of renal preservation using hyperbaric oxygen. In addition to his tireless work in renal transplantation, he became interested in the possible use of phototherapy in bladder cancer.

He was a charming and cheerful person with a passion for travel. He visited Africa as often as he could, and planned to end his days in a mission hospital, for he had a deep religious faith. Sadly, he developed a series of cerebrovascular attacks which left him with loss of memory, but never without a sense of fun and hope. He leaves a wife, Didi, four children and four grandchildren. He died on 22 September 1999.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2000 320 317, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England