Monday, 10 September 2012


             Having attended 1 or 2 operations by Sir Benjamin Ryecroft at the Royal  Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, I decided against going into Ophthalmolgy, which had been my first intention, and instead turned towards Pathology.   Starting with Malcolm Henderson at Pembury, I had the good fortune to obtain a post with Adolf Beck at St Mary's, Paddington.   From Adolf, whose teachers had a direct line back to Pasteur, I learned about mycobacteria which together with my wife and family have been the love of my life since.

            I went back to Guys, first to Walter Merrivale and then to Prof Knox in academic bacteriology where I picked up Wally Gunthorpe as my first research technician.   Together we moved to George Dick's Department at the Middlesex where we set up a Mycobacterial Research Unit and I was appointed as University Reader.   Wally moved on to other things and I was joined by Graham MacIntyre with whom I still work.   Following the sad transfer of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School to University College I was appointed as professor of the department until retirement.   As our children left home, my wife joined me in the department as professorial assistant for our last years before retirement.
           During my years at the Middlesex /UCL, I extensively investigated the antigenicity of mycobacteria and developed a series skin-test reagents with which to probe the effects of environmental contact on the human   immune system and its relationship to disease.    Moving on to the development of immuno-therapeutic from an environmental mycobacterium isolated from Ugandan soil, a company - Stanford Rook Ltd was spun out from the College.   Sadly this did not reach its potential.

Planning the next part of the research programme!
            On retirement and with the help of the College, my wife and I together with Graham MacIntyre and an Argentinian Colleague, Oscar Bottasso, set up a research and discovery company, BioEos Ltd. to develop further bacterial immuno-therapeutics in which we have been very successful.   From our discoveries two development companies have been set up, one Immodulon Therapeutics Ltd. is nearing the completion of trials in melanoma , pancreatic cancer and lower bowel cancer, which we expect to be successful.   the second company, Actinopharma Ltd is developing a near mycobacterium, Tsuk amurella inchonensis, for the treatment and prevention of chronic inflammation.   Meanwhile Bioeos investigates immuno-therapies in agriculture and veterinary medicine.   We have developed a treatment for sweet itch in horses, a treatment for flea-bite allergy in dogs and have just started a study in 100,000 rainbow trout at Test Valley Farm in Hampshire.                
                                                                               John Stanford

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