Patrick Manson graduated as a doctor from Aberdeen University in 1865 and became a medical officer in China. He became interested in elephantiasis, a common disease there, and showed that the life cycle of the causative organism included both man and mosquito and by controlling mosquitoes the disease could be controlled. He became convinced that the same was true of malaria and this theory was proved correct by Sir Ronald Ross in 1898. Manson also discovered several other parasitic organisms.
He went on to found the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese. On his return to Britain he became Chief Medical Officer to the Colonial Office and he and another Aberdeen doctor, James Cantlie, used their influence to create the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is commemorated by a plaque on the Cruikshank Building, Chanonry, Old Aberdeen.