Belfast Telegraph

Pioneering QUB professor William Thompson dies at age 83

Lauded: a portrait of Prof Thompson
Lauded: a portrait of Prof Thompson

By David Young

The death has been announced of Professor William (Billy) Thompson, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen's University in Belfast.

Professor Thompson (83), a native of Fermanagh, had a long and distinguished professional career at the university, acting as a consultant at the City Hospital and at the Royal Maternity Hospital in Belfast. Educated at Queen's, Professor Thompson, who was a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, retired from the university in 2000.

Last night Professor Neil McClure of Queen's University paid tribute to his late friend and colleague.

"Billy was an utterly inspiring man with a superbly inquiring mind - a true polymath, both inside and outside medicine - who will be sorely missed by the very, very many people whose lives he touched deeply," said Professor McClure.

"Amongst his many achievements, he was key to the introduction of ultrasound to Northern Ireland obstetrics, something we now all take for granted.

"In the same way, along with Dr Tony Traub, he drove the establishment of IVF as a clinical service in Royal Maternity Hospital.

"He also served nationally on the Warnock Committee, the forerunner of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

"In his later clinical years, hormone replacement therapy was his major interest and he established the first HRT clinic in the province and carried out much fundamental research in that area.

"He also had a huge interest in medical education and revolutionised the undergraduate training in medicine at Queen's in the Nineties."

Professor Thompson is survived by his wife Anne and their four children - Christine, Andrew, Gillian and Karen.

A service of thanksgiving for Professor Thompson's life will be held in Hillsborough Presbyterian Church on Saturday at 11am.

This will be followed by a private committal service.

Belfast Telegraph


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