Sir John Charles Grant Ledingham

19 May 1875 - 4 October 1944

Eminent Bacteriologist and Virologist

Born at the manse in Boyndie, Banffshire, John Ledingham was educated locally and at Banff Academy, then King’s College, Aberdeen, graduating MA (Hons) (1895), BSc (1900) and MB ChB (1902). After graduation, he carried out training in Leipzig, bacteriological research with Prof. Hamilton in Aberdeen and then with Prof. Bulloch at the London Hospital. In 1905, he was appointed assistant bacteriologist in the Lister Institute, becoming chief bacteriologist there in 1909 and professor of bacteriology at London University (1920).  War service with the RAMC saw him reach the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was created CMG in 1918 and knighted in 1937.

Ledingham's research embraced a wide variety of subjects, including kala-azar, phagocytosis and immunity, dysentery and typhoidal diseases, the role of platelets and the vaccinia virus. He was an able administrator and became Director of the Lister Institute in 1931. He served on committees of the Pathological Society, the Royal Society of Medicine, the British Medical Association and the Medical Research Council.  He retired in 1942.

FRS (1921)
Sc D (Dublin)
DSc (Leeds)

Obituary: Royal Society (including bibliography; 01 February ; pp 325-340)
RCP London

image: from a group photograph at Lister Institute in 1907; Wellcome Collection; (CC BY 4.0)

Biography prepared from the nomination made by Dr M Williams to the University of Aberdeen 525 Alumni project.