Notable People

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Victor Hawthorne

Born 19 June 1921, Rutherglen, Scotland.
Died 23 November 2014.

A distinguished epidemiologist who set up the MIDSPAN Project which is largest long-term health study of socio-economically deprived areas in the UK.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Alumnus, Honorary Graduate, Lecturer
GU Degrees: MB ChB, 1951; MD, 1963; DSc, 1996;

Discover more Epidemiologist on the University of Glasgow Story website


The following achievement is associated with Victor Hawthorne:

Undertaking the largest long-term study of the health of socially deprived populations in the UK
The key findings of the MIDSPAN research studies have broadened our understanding of risk factors associated with respiratory illness, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer.


The following honour is associated with this person:


Victor Hawthorne (1921-2014) was an epidemiologist who was a graduate of the University and a Senior Lecturer in in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine from 1966 to the 1980s. He initiated MIDSPAN, the large occupational and general population health surveys, based in the west of Scotland, which began in the late 1960s. These studies have helped identify the risk factors in cardio-respiratory diseases and cancer.

Hawthorne was born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, and was educated at Rutherglen Academy. Although he obtained his Certificate of Fitness in 1943, war delayed his university education until 1946, when he began his medical studies at the University of Glasgow. He graduated MB ChB in 1951. In 1963 he graduated MD with commendation and in 1996 he was awarded an honorary DSc by the University.

He left his post at the University in the 1980s when he was appointed to the Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he was Professor Emeritus.