Christopher Howard Andrewes FRS (1896-1988)

Christopher Andrewes worked at NIMR for forty years as a virologist, with a passionate commitment to making practical applications from basic science. Born on 7 June 1896 in London, Andrewes studied medicine and volunteered his services to the Royal Navy as a surgeon during World War One. Following positions as a hospital physician, Andrewes worked with WE Gye on fowl tumour viruses at the Mill Hill Farm Laboratories. In 1927 he joined the scientific staff of NIMR to assist Patrick Laidlaw in developing a vaccine against canine distemper. This led on to research on influenza and the discovery of the causative virus in 1933 and subsequent vaccine development. He was head of the Division of Bacteriology and Virus Research from 1939 to 1961, during which time he established the Common Cold Research Unit near Salisbury as an NIMR outpost in 1947, and the World Influenza Centre at Mill Hill in 1948, which spawned a worldwide network of collaborating centres. He was also Deputy Director of NIMR from 1952-61 and was knighted in 1961. He retired in 1967 to resume his love of natural history, particularly bees and wasps.
Sir Christopher Howard Andrewes
Sir Christopher Howard Andrewes Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

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