0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Obituary |

In Memoriam: Peter Kynaston Thomas, MD (1926-2008) FREE

Norman Latov, MD, PhD
Arch Neurol. 2008;65(7):989. doi:10.1001/archneur.65.7.989.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Peter Kynaston Thomas, or P. K. as affectionately known by his colleagues, died on January 26, 2008, at the age of 81 years. He was a dominant figure in the field of peripheral neuropathy, with a career that spanned more than 5 decades and saw the introduction of electrophysiology, electron microscopy, immunology, and molecular biology, all of which he incorporated in his research into peripheral nerve diseases. He was equally at ease in the boardroom or editorial office, presiding over a meeting, or giving an after-dinner speech as he was at the bedside or laboratory. He served as president of the Association of British Neurologists and the European Neurological Society and was editor of Brain, the Journal of Neurology, and the Journal of Anatomy. His many honors included being named Commander of the British Empire and Fellow of University College in London.

Place holder to copy figure label and caption

Peter Kynaston Thomas, MD

Graphic Jump Location

P. K. did most of his work at the University of London and Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and Institute of Neurology at Queen Square, where he was professor and consultant in neurology. He published more than 300 original articles on just about every aspect of peripheral neuropathy, in addition to numerous chapters and several books, of which he was an editor. It’s not commonly known, however, that he also worked on this side of the Atlantic at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, where from 1961 to 1962 he served as assistant professor of Neurology in charge of the Electromyography Department, before returning to Queen Square as senior lecturer.

P. K. was most passionate about research. He was a ubiquitous presence at meetings, where he was often seen with a manuscript under his arm, moving quickly between posters, and engaged in discussion with the presenters and other participants. His was an era where funding for medical research was directed mostly at disease mechanisms, before it became largely consumed by clinical trials, with multiple groups working on just about every aspect of neuropathy. He moved easily between the different factions, more curious and open-minded, with little tolerance for pretension, and always encouraging of young investigators. He traveled so often and widely that he once remarked that he no longer had a circadian rhythm.

P. K.’ s second marriage was to Anita Harding, MD, who was best known for her discovery of mitochondrial mutations and trinucleotide repeats in human disease. They were considered a power couple, often traveling and lecturing together, and as well-known for their enthusiasm and enjoyment of entertaining as for their contributions to their respective fields. Together with Gerard Said, MD, they founded the European Neurological Society, which sought to democratize European neurology along the lines of the American Academy of Neurology by emphasizing the individual rather than national associations. Anita Harding died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 42 years, just before taking over as chair of the Institute of Neurology at Queen Square. On learning of her condition, she is said to have remarked, “At least I won't have to buy Windows 95.”

P. K. is survived by his third wife, Sam Ponsford; his brother, Martyn Thomas; and by his 2 sons, Adrian and Nicholas, from his first marriage to Mary Thomas, who died in 1978. His death followed a debilitating stroke, thus ending his suffering. His presence will continue to be missed by the peripheral neuropathy community and by all who knew him.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Correspondence: Dr Latov, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 635 Madison Ave, Room 400, New York, NY 10022-1009 (nol2002@med.cornell.edu).

Figures

Place holder to copy figure label and caption

Peter Kynaston Thomas, MD

Graphic Jump Location

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

355 Views
0 Citations
×

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
Jobs
JAMAevidence.com

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Make the Diagnosis: Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy