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From The Archives

Alastair Compston
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awu004 640-644 First published online: 5 February 2014

Atypical muscle mitochondria in oculoskeletal myopathy. By J.A. Morgan-Hughes and WGP Mair (From the National Hospital, and the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, WC1). Brain 1973; 96: 215–24. With Mitochondrial encephalomyopathies. Biochemical studies in two cases revealing defects in the respiratory chain. By J.A. Morgan-Hughes, D.J. Hayes, J.B. Clark, D.N. Landon, M. Swash, R.J. Stark and P. Rudge. (From the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, WC1; the Biochemistry Department, St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, London EC1 and the Department of Neurology, The London Hospital, London E1). Brain 1982; 105: 553–82. With The clinical features of mitochondrial myopathy. By R.K.H. Petty, A.E. Harding and J.A. Morgan-Hughes. (From the University Department of Clinical Neurology and the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, London). Brain 1986; 109: 915–38

John Morgan-Hughes (1932–2012) was an enigmatic figure who eschewed academic title and preferment but nonetheless made many important discoveries as a pioneer in biochemical aspects of neurological disease, and through his work on mitochondrial cytopathies. Although he remained a part-time consultant neurologist with a private practice and district general hospital sessions in Bedford, UK, he was arguably the most brilliant of the clinician scientists active in research that managed the transition, under the leadership of Roger Gilliatt (1922–91), from excellence in clinical neurology to engagement with emerging disciplines that started to illuminate the scientific basis of neurology. In several respects, Morgan-Hughes represented the type of academic for whom (Sir Francis) Walshe (1885–1973) had argued in a polemic memorandum that, whilst challenging the need for academic investment in the affairs of Queen Square, at the same time extolled the virtues of investing in neurochemistry and abandoning physiology if that Institute was to remain a force in national neurology. Morgan-Hughes obtained a first class honours degree in natural sciences from Trinity College, …

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