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James Malone-Lee - A Tribute

Thursday 24 Feb 2022 {{NI.ViewCount}} Views {{NI.ViewCount}} Views

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We are sad to report the recent passing of James Malone-Lee on Saturday, 19th February.

James qualified from St. Thomas' Hospital, London in 1975 and served with the Royal Army Medical Corps until 1981. He joined University College London as a lecturer in geriatric medicine and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1984. He was promoted to Professor in 1994 and in 1996 was appointed to the Barlow Chair of Geriatric Medicine. His early research concentrated on the utility (or otherwise) of conventional urodynamics, various aspects of continence in older adults and latterly he researched the role of infection in lower urinary tract symptoms.

James was eloquent and erudite, with a keen sense of irony. In some respects, he refused to conform to the “conventional” behaviours of a senior professor, riding his low powered motorcycle into work each day (occasionally becoming separated from the bike on the way) but until late in his National Health Service career, when “standards fell” he adhered to the wearing of a pinstriped suit, tie, and braces, but occasionally dressed down to a seersucker jacket and coloured pants at ICS congresses.

Never one to shirk robust debate, James energetically entered the fray during ICS political difficulties, notably, in Rotterdam, quoting from Erasmus in justifying a membership revolt. He was regarded as one of the most awkward, although well-informed, questioners during annual scientific meetings and many dreaded his reaching for the microphone, although some often failed to understand his point, which usually came from a novel perspective.

His dedication to the philosophy of science was remarkable as was his terrier-like tenacity. As a research mentor, his advice was widely sought and many in the ICS owe him a debt of gratitude for his guidance, support, and enthusiasm. Following his retirement from UCL, James continued to practice clinically in a service dedicated to the care of those with chronic lower urinary tract symptoms, as ever, courting considerable controversy. His humour, directness and eloquence will be sadly missed, as has been his front row presence at ICS meetings.

Adrian Wagg
Past ICS General Secretary

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