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James Clark Gentles

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Died  15 November 1997
James Clark Gentles

Prof James Clark Gentles FRSE (1921–1997) was a Scottish mycologist and the first British person to specialise in fungal disease on the human body. He was generally termed Jimmy Gentles.



He was born in Coatbridge on 18 March 1921. He was the son of the manager of a steelworks. He attended school locally then went to Glasgow University studying Natural History. He graduated BSc and continued obtaining a doctorate (PhD).

In the Second World War he served in the RAF as a radar operator. He was commissioned in 1942 (aged only 21) and was in command of radar equipment in Burma.

In 1947 Carl Hamilton Browning head-hunteded Gentles (rather than a physician) to Head his new department investigating fungal diseases of the human body at Glasgow University. He firstly trained him up further, organising a Distillers Company Scholarship to fund a years specialisation in mycology at Glasgow then a further year in Paris at the Pasteur Institute, followed by a course at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. On return to Browning in Glasgow he was appointed to the Medical Reseaerch Council, his first task being to investigate ringworm in the feet of Scottish miners. In 1976 he was given his professorship.

In 1981 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were William Whigham Fletcher, William McPhee Hutchison, Sir William D. P. Stewart, John Hawthorn, Ernest Oliver Morris and John Smith.

He was a keen golfer and served as Captain of Lenzie Golf Club.

He died on 15 November 1997.


He was married to Barr Gentles. They had a son James (born in Paris) and daughter Carine.


James Clark Gentles Wikipedia

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