Tim Clark – BaA 46 – 54

Monday 27 July 2020

Submitted by Sarah Jewell

Tim Clark was born in Ruislip in 1935, the eldest son of John and Kathleen Clark. On a gaining a scholarship to Christ Hospital at the age of 10, Tim joined the school in 1946 moving in Barnes A house. Because of the war he did not have the distinctive uniform for 12 months, due to the rationing of material. When he finally had the proper uniform he was very proud, especially when he gained his Grecian buttons.

He was academic and sporty, his main love being cricket. He was in the first eleven as a slow leg spin bowler; once being mentioned in Wisden. He was encouraged by the school medical officer to consider a career in medicine and he ultimately applied to Guy’s Hospital, London. Attending his interview in his CH uniform, which caused amusement among some medical students, he successfully obtained a place. He started his medical training in 1954 qualifying in 1960. His was awarded the Laidlaw prize for an essay on ‘dyspnoea’ in 1959, indicating an early interest to study and work within the field of pulmonary medicine. After house jobs at Guy’s, the Hammersmith and Brompton hospitals, he won a fellowship in 1963 and worked at John Hopkins hospital in Baltimore for a year. On returning to England, he was appointed a Consultant Physician in 1968 and as Professor of Thoracic Medicine in 1977.

He became Dean of Guy’s Hospital Medical School in 1984 and the first Dean of the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ in 1986. It was a great challenge to bring together two illustrious medical schools which he and Dr Brian Creamer, of St Thomas’ hospital, successfully negotiated. Feeling his work at Guy’s was complete, he became Pro-Vice Chancellor of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London [when?]. In 1990 he became Dean of the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), successfully negotiating its merger into Imperial College in 1995. Under his guidance, the NHLI developed a strategic approach to research and a five-star rating. From here he continued as Dean of NHLI within Imperial College, leading to the foundation of Imperial College School of Medicine in 1997.

In 2000 he became Provost of Imperial College in Wye, a position he held for 12 months. His final role was a Pro Rector (Admissions) at Imperial College which he held until his retirement in July 2002.

His many notable appointments include a seat on the Social Services Committee (1981-1985), presidency of the British Thoracic Society (1990-91) and a role with the World Health Organisation as Chair of the Global Initiative for Asthma (2000 -2004). Alongside over 200 academic papers, he co-edited the seminal textbook, Asthma, with Simon Godfrey which went into four editions. He travelled widely lecturing on asthma and the therapeutic use of inhaled steroids.

Tim passed away on the 14th July 2020, peacefully in his sleep after a long illness. He leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Ann, who he met as a first year medical when she was a first ward student nurse. He was father to two sons and two daughters and grandfather to two grandsons and four granddaughters.