International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Ryan, Prof Terence - Personal Collection


    Category Personal Collection
    Country United Kingdom
    Address Osler McGovern Centre, 13 Norham Gardens, Oxford, UK
    Telephone +44 (0) 1865 485294
    Fax +44 (0) 1865 485297


    From the written record “The History of Leprosy Studies in Oxford, and the later taking Leprosy with Dermatology into General Health Services Worldwide”:

    The personal collection of Professor Terence Ryan contains the following:

    Proposals written by Robert Cochrane including his summary of the Leprosy Research Unit (London) from its foundation on 12 December 1952 until May 1964 in which he describes the Unit as being in a unique position to act as a clearing house for information with regard to leprosy and all its aspects; a manuscript which discusses direct negotiations between Ciba, Cochrane, and Stanley Browne (Leprosy Research Centre, Usuakoli) to initiate a preliminary trial with Ciba-1906 (1964); and a proposal entitled “The substance of a discussion with Mr Thurber and Dr Johnwick in connection with the proposed School of International Medicine to be organised at the LSU Medical School” which describes the origins of Carville as a major teaching centre near New Orleans, Louisana.

    There is correspondence with Cochrane that marks the difference in research focus between him and Dr Rees, making clear Cochrane’s desire to establish a unit at Oxford; correspondence in which Cochrane expresses his interest in leprosy and dermatology in general health services (23 Feb 1965); and correspondence on his retirement from the Directorship of the Leprosy Study Centre and as a Consultant Advisor in Leprosy to the Ministry of Health (22 Jan 1966 letter).

    There are the clinical records of Terence Ryan as registrar. There are extensive notes and very detailed descriptions of discussions about the patients admitted during 1963-65, including records relating to a case that was the first to establish dapsone resistance in Europe (Notes 11 Jan 1965). There are notes on debates between Cochrane and Dr John Warin, the Medical Officer for Health on the question of contagiousness of the patient who was seen by Paul Brand, Professor Trueta, Robert Cochrane, Graham Weddell, Dick Rees and Michael Walters.

    There are extensive teaching records including records related to teaching clinics and six-monthly seminars attended by Robert Cochrane, Stanley Browne, Dick Rees, Graham Weddell, and occasionally Michael Walters and Paul Brand. There are records of the teaching activities of the unit: for example, clinical demonstrations given at the Institute of Dermatology in London and the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

    There is correspondence with Paul Brand when he was advising a rehabilitation centre in Croydon; correspondence with Dr D J Harman from the Leprosy Studies Centre (17 March 1968); and correspondence with the Ministry of Health (including Dr Albertine Winner) from Renwick Vickers concerning the establishment of a research unit at Oxford. On this matter, there is an extensive record of proposals and negotiations including correspondence from Dr Robert Cochrane to members of the Department of Health; from Renwick Vickers to the Vice Chancellor, the Regius Professor of Medicine, and the Medical Officer of Health, Nuffield Foundation for funding support; to dermatologists canvassing support for a leprosy centre (1963-7).

    There is correspondence with Dr R Rees on the use of patients by the NIMR and with Stanley Browne on the possibility of a six-bed unit at Slade Hospital (15 March 1967). There are records of the opening of the Cochrane Annexe of Slade Hospital (11 Aug 1970) and a letter from Cochrane from Shinyanga in Tanzania on its opening (8 April). There is also correspondence from Renwick Vickers on staffing and management of the annexe (1970-2)

    Other correspondence relates to the role and status of the Unit, including a proposal for an honorary consultant in tropical medicine, with a special interest in leprosy; Graham Weddell and Renwick Vickers’s “Intended Programme of Research” proposal; correspondence with Dick Rees to Terence Ryan about transferring the Leprosy Unit to Dept of Dermatology and the importance of a continuing leprosy group at Oxford (4 Nov 1974); the transferral of funding for the Unit to LEPRA (17 July 1976) and an exchange between Francis Harris (LEPRA), Dick Rees, and Terence Ryan on Ryan’s reports on experimental work on wound healing and the issue of generalising leprosy research. This marks the separation of increasingly focussed leprosy research and dermatology’s broader interests.

    There is a record of changing British legislation for the management of leprosy, including the 1965 Public Health (Leprosy) Regulations which were more sensitive about protecting the privacy of patients and which established a panel of practitioners designated to assist Medical Officers of Health.

    There is also a record of the troubled relationship between Leprosy and Dermatology including correspondence with dermatologists in Britain on the competence of Cochrane; extensive records of Ryans’s effort in bringing about an integration between leprosy and dermatology; records of his work in London (1967-72) at the Institute of Dermatology and his collaboration with John Turk; and correspondence from Dr Noordeen on the role of dermatology in leprosy (8 October 1998).

    There are records of leprosy work such as Dr R Rees’s and Dr Colin McDougall’s work on dapsone resistance using the mouse foot-pad model and on the use of rifampicin as an effective eliminator of the leprosy bacillus from the nose; of a symposium on the role of B663 (Sept 1968); on Stanley Browne’s claims of the effectiveness of B663 on untreated lepromatous leprosy; on Colin McDougall’s research on light and electron microscopy with skin and nerve biopsies; on Dr Gordon Ellard’s work on the study of the penetration of anti-leprosy drugs into the peripheral nerves at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School Hammersmith; correspondence between Stanley Browne and Colin McDougall on studies with thirty patients (8 April 1974); reports to the Overseas University Liaison Committee to which Colin McDougall was advisor; prize winning essays on leprosy from Oxford medical students (published with the support of the St Francis Leprosy Guild); and records of the work of Richard Jones: a histology technician. There is also a record of Terence Ryan’s work as Honorary Medical Adviser to the St Francis Leprosy Guild; his membership of LEPRA, and the institution of the International Foundation for Dermatology, with Regional Dermatology Training Centres (the first Dermatology, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Leprosy Collaborating Centre of WHO).

    There are also records of Professor Ryan’s study trips to Uganda and Pretoria, meetings with Dr Convit in Venezuela (in his capacity as Clovis Lombardi Pan-American Health Organisation Advisor on Leprosy), and with Turkan Saylan, at the Leprosy Unit, Istanbul.

    Entry made February 2002


    Name Professor Terence Ryan
    Address Osler McGovern Centre, 13 Norham Gardens, Oxford, United Kingdom.
    Telephone +44 (0)1865 485294
    Fax +44 (0)1865 485297

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