- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Alexander Russell

Born  1914

Related eponyms

English paediatrician, born 1914, Newcastle.

Biography of Alexander Russell

Alexander Russell studied medicine at the University of Durham where he was influenced by the innovative paediatrician, J. M. Spence. He qualified at the age of 21 years and subsequently held junior hospital appointments in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force as a medical officer. He distinguished himself with his studies of the effect of carbon monoxide accumulation on the air crew in the poorly ventilated rear cockpits of the Whitley bombers. While posted in the Middle East he became engaged in field research in malaria and kala azar. His innovative use of DDT to destroy the sandfly, which is the vector of Kala Azar, earned him the Order of the British Empire.

After the war he returned to London, where he obtained his medical doctorate in 1948. Besides practising he pursued an academic career, and in 1950 became assistant to Professor Alan Moncrieff at the Great Ormond Street and Queen Elizabeth Children's Hospitals, London. In 1954 he became the founder of the first paediatric endocrine unit in the United Kingdom, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

In 1966 Russell was invited to the new chair of paediatrics and child care at the Hadassah Medical Centre in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Here he founded the Jerusalem Centre of Child and Family Developmental Rehabilitation which was aimed at a complete care in an educational and medical sense for handicapped children of all races and creeds. He followed this up in 1970 by founding the first Arab Children’s Hospital on the west bank at the town of Ramallah. In 1984 he was elected to the Presidency of the International College of Paediatrics.


  • Diencephalic Syndrome of Hyperkinetic Emaciation. Doctoral dissertation, 1948.

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