Leonard Birnie Strang
Biography of Leonard Birnie Strang
Leonard Birnie Strang undertook postgraduate training in paediatrics under Sir James Spence (1892-1954). He began his research interest in pulmonary function at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and then spent a year at Harvard studying the pulmonary vasculature of the newborn. In 1967 he was appointed as the first undergraduate professor of paediatrics in London. The constant theme of the research was the elucidation of the mechanisms by which the foetal lung adapts to breathing air at birth.
Strang was awarded the James Spence Medal in 1990. He became president of the Neonatal Society and a censor of the Royal College of Physicians.
1970s he became a committed Francophile, mastered the language in a short time, and spent six months at the Hôpital de Port Royal in Paris, becoming well known in French paediatric circles. He retired to Volx in southern France with his second wife in 1989.
Severe osteomyelitis in childhood meant that for most of his life he relied on two walking sticks for mobility.