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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.109 n.9 Pretoria Sep. 2019




Stephen Morrison, 30 December 1946 - 7 May 2019




Stephen Morrison graduated MB BChir from Clare College at Cambridge University in 1971, having obtained a BA Hons in medical sciences in 1968. Between 1971 and 1974 he held internship and further junior posts in medicine in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, and London teaching hospitals. He moved to Cape Town and trained in medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital from 1975 to 1977 and in respiratory medicine from 1978 to 1979. After spending 2 years as a Canadian MRC Research Fellow to Prof. N L Jones and Prof. E J M Campbell at McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton, Ontario, from 1979 to 1980, he returned to the University of Cape Town/Groote Schuur Hospital Department of Medicine in 1981, where he established a fine reputation as a senior respiratory specialist and senior lecturer in the departments of Medicine and Sports Science.

Stephen was appreciated and is remembered for his work ethic, his devoted care of patients and his love of friends, family and our institutions. We were sad to lose him to Australia in 1988, where in due course he assumed the roles of Director of Thoracic Medicine, Medical Director at Genesis SleepCare, and Director of Thoracic and Sleep Disorders Medicine at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. Throughout his career he maintained his links with UCT, from which he graduated PhD in 1994. In 2009 he was promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland. Honours included election to FRCP and FRACP.

Stephen's wide range of research interests included recovery after heavy exercise, sleep-disordered breathing, chemical influences on breathing, exercise-induced asthma, pulmonary mechanics in the hyperbaric environment (including effects on ventilation during exercise), the measurement of pulmonary gas exchange, the control of breathing during exercise, and impulse oscillometry as a test of lung function. He had a critical mind, was a strong and determined personality, and while sometimes direct in debate, was always a person of charm and integrity. He was an accomplished clinical pulmonologist, an enthusiastic researcher and a much-admired teacher who received many research grants and published his work in a range of prestigious journals.

Stephen's leisure activities included enthusiastic cycling and carpentry executed with considerable skill. He suffered for several years from lymphoma and the effects of treatment that included bone marrow transplantation, but bore this burden with great courage, expressing appreciation for the extra years modern medicine granted him. He is remembered with great affection and admiration by his many friends and colleagues around the world, by his first wife Valerie and their children Michelle, Oriel and Justin, by his second family Deborah and children Emily and Sarah, and by his grandchildren.

Solly Benatar, Eric Bateman

Cape Town, South Africa

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