Geoffrey S. Dawes

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Prof. Geoffrey Sharman Dawes CBE FRS
Born 21 January 1918
Mackworth, Derbyshire[1]
Died 6 May 1996 (1996-05-07) (aged 78)
Education Shardlow Hall, Repton School & Oxford University
Occupation Physiologist
Spouse(s) Margaret Monk
Children two daughters and two sons
Parent(s) Rev. William Dawes

Geoffrey Sharman Dawes CBE FRS (21 January 1918 – 6 May 1996) was an English physiologist and was considered to be the foremost international authority on fetal and neonatal physiology.[2]


Dawes was born in 1918 in Mackworth which is within Derbyshire, but he was brought up in Elvaston where his father was the vicar of Elvaston and Thulston. He had four siblings who were all older than he was.[1] Dawes lived at Thurleston Hall, the vicarage for Elvaston. This hall had previously been the home of William Darwin Fox. His prep school was in the next village of Shardlow, where he studied until he started at Repton School which was still within south Derbyshire. This association with Repton continued as later he would become both a member and later chair of their governors.[2]

Dawes became the director of the Nuffield Institute for Medical research in Oxford in 1948 only five years after obtaining his degree in medicine.[3]

Following his appointment as director Dawes had to decide on an area of research that was worthy of his attention. He decided on fetal physiology as he thought at the time that study of fetuses would allow researchers to study simpler version of more complex adult physiology. This was not the case and Dawes himself became a spokesman for the importance and complexity of this stage of physiology.[4]

Dawes was awarded the Gairdner Foundation International Award in 1966 for his outstanding contributions to medical science.[5] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in March 1971.[6]

Dawes retired in 1985 and took up the post of director of Sunley Research Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, where he worked on both the computerisation of fetal heart rates and on molecular biology.[4] The Nuffield Institute of Medical research which he had directed became part of the Institute of Molecular Medicine.[7]

A keen entertainer with his wife Margaret,[4] he died in Oxford in 1996.[3]


  • Fetal and Neonatal Physiology (1968)


The Geoffrey Dawes lecture is given annually and organised by the Fetal and Neonatal Physiological Society.[8]


  1. ^ a b Liggins, Graham (1 January 1998). "Geoffrey Sharman Dawes, C. B. E. 21 January 1918-6 May 1996". 44: 111–125. Retrieved 31 January 2017 – via JSTOR. 
  2. ^ a b Obituary: Professor Geoffrey Dawes, Independent, The (London), May 16, 1996 by C.W.G. Redman, accessed 7 September 2008
  3. ^ a b Historical Perspectives - Perinatal Profiles: Geoffrey S. Dawes: A Neonatologist's Appreciation, NeoReviews Vol. 8 No. 9 2007 e365, accessed 7 September 2008
  4. ^ a b c "Pediatric Research". Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "List of winners". The Gairdner Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 26 November 2010. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, accessed 7 September 2008 Archived August 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Fetal and Neonatal Physiological Society, accessed 7 September 2008 Archived August 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.