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Sir Cyril Astley Clarke (1907–2000)

© Royal College of Physicians, London. Photo credit: Royal College of Physicians, London

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Sir Cyril Astley Clarke (1907–2000) led the medical team that discovered how to prevent rhesus haemolytic disease (Rh Disease) of the newborn, one of the major modern advances in preventative medicine. After serving in the navy during the Second World War, Clarke became consultant physician at the David Lewis Northern Hospital in Liverpool. Here he developed an interest in medical genetics following studies of swallow-tailed butterflies. Clarke went on to found the Nuffield unit of medical genetics, which he directed from 1963 to 1972. He was then elected president of the Royal College of Physicians of London, a post he held until 1977. Cyril's work was widely recognised, and he received many national and international awards.

Royal College of Physicians, London





oil on canvas


H 75 x W 69 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned, 1977

Work type



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Royal College of Physicians, London

11 St Andrew's Place, Regent's Park, London, Greater London NW1 4LE England

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