Dr Ian Freshney (1938 – 2019)

The College was saddened to learn of the death of Dr R. Ian Freshney, who was a very highly regarded cancer biologist and pioneer in cell culture techniques.

Initially at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, he was appointed as Senior Lecturer in the then Cancer Research Campaign Department of Medical Oncology in 1981, remaining there until his retirement in 1998.

Ian also played a leading role in raising awareness of the extensive problems associated with the misidentification of cell lines through cross contamination. With Dr Amanda Capes-Davis, Founding Manager and Honorary Scientist of CellBank Australia, he developed a Register of Misidentified Cell Lines, published in 2010 and now curated by the International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC).

Ian gained a national and international reputation for the quality of his teaching, particularly in experimental pathology and cell culture. In an era of rapid technological change in the laboratory, Ian's patient and collegiate approach, his attention to detail, and his wisdom were an example to his many friends and colleagues in Glasgow and elsewhere.

Ian is survived by his wife, Mary, whom he married in 1963, their daughter, Gillian, and son, Norman.


First published: 30 July 2019