Peter Morris (surgeon)

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Professor Sir Peter Morris
Born (1934-04-17) 17 April 1934 (age 83)
Institutions University of Oxford
Massachusetts General Hospital[1]
University of Melbourne
Known for Organ transplantation
Influences Joseph Murray[1]
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society
Medawar prize[2]

Sir Peter John Morris, AC, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP, FRCS (born 17 April 1934) is an emeritus Nuffield professor of surgery at the University of Oxford, former President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, founder of the Oxford Transplant Centre and director of the Centre for Evidence in Transplantation at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Education and career[edit]

Morris was born in Australia in 1934 and after education at Xavier College, Melbourne, he was a medical student at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1957. He commenced his surgical training in Melbourne before moving to the UK and the USA to complete his training.

Morris returned to Melbourne in 1968 to the University of Melbourne’s Department of Surgery, becoming Reader in Surgery in 1971. In 1973 at the age of 39 he was appointed to the Nuffield Chair of Surgery at the University of Oxford. He held this post for 28 years before being elected as President of The Royal College of Surgeons of England from 2001 to 2004.[3][4] On arrival in Oxford he established the transplantation programme at the Oxford Transplant Centre of which he was Director. He was also the co-founder with John Bell of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. He now serves as Director of the Centre for Evidence in Transplantation (CET) at the Royal College of Surgeons and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he holds an Honorary Professorship and is a member of Court. He served as Chairman of the British Heart Foundation for 8 years and is now President of the Medical Protection Society.

He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994 and as a Foundation Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998. In the USA he was elected as a Foreign Member of both the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (1997) and the American Philosophical Society (2002).


His professional scientific career has revolved around transplantation and transplantation biology, with a major interest in the immune response to histocompatibility antigens and its suppression. One of his key contributions was the discovery of cytotoxic antibodies in patients after renal transplantation and their association with graft failure. Other research interests included extensive studies of HLA and disease and the use of HLA as a genetic marker in anthropology. His clinical interests have been in transplantation and vascular surgery. He is a former President of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, The Transplantation Society (International), the British Transplantation Society, the European Surgical Association and the International Surgical Society. He is the editor of Kidney Transplantation: Principles and Practice, which is now in its 6th edition, and the widely acclaimed Oxford Textbook of Surgery, which is in its 2nd edition.


He has been awarded numerous Honorary Fellowships, including those of the American Surgical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, German Surgical Society, Japanese Surgical Society and the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ireland, The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and London as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indian Society of Transplantation. He has receivied an Honorary DSc of Imperial College, London and the University of Hong Kong, and most recently an Honorary Doctorate of Laws of the University of Melbourne. He has served as a visiting Professor in some 50 institutions and delivered over 30 eponymous lectures worldwide.

He has received a number of prizes for his work, the most prestigious of which are the Lister Medal in 1997 for his contributions to surgical science[5] and the Medawar Prize in 2006 for his contributions to transplantation.[6][7]

In 2002 he was a castaway on Desert Island Discs.[8]

In 1996 he was knighted by the Queen for services to medicine. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for services to medical sciences in 2004.[9]


  1. ^ a b Peter Morris (2013). "Joseph E. Murray (1919–2012)". Nature. 493 (164). doi:10.1038/493164a. PMID 23302851. 
  2. ^ Morris, P. J. (2006). "Medawar Prize Acceptance Speech". Transplantation. 82 (12): 1590–1595. doi:10.1097/ PMID 17198241. 
  3. ^ "New President for Royal College of Surgeons". 7 July 2004. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "New President - Professor Sir Peter Morris". 12 July 2001. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  5. ^ 'Lister Oration', College and Faculty Bulletin (published by the Royal College of Surgeons of England), Volume 79, Number 5 (September 1997), p.216.
  6. ^ "'Introduction of Sir Peter John Morris'". 
  7. ^ "'Medawar Prize Acceptance Speech'". 
  8. ^ "'Sir Peter Morris - Desert Island Discs'". 
  9. ^ Companion of the Order of Australia: MORRIS, Peter John, 14 June 2004. For service to medical science as a surgeon and scientist in the areas of vascular surgery and renal transplants through developing tissue typing and testing of immunosuppression agents.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Barry Jackson
President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Succeeded by
Hugh Phillips