Tony Andrews came from humble beginnings. The son of an insurance salesman who suffered chronic ill health and a mother who became a respiratory cripple, he was born in North Petherton, Somerset, and educated at St Morgan’s Grammar School, Bridgwater, before entering St Mary’s Hospital medical school, University of London, in 1954. He excelled as an undergraduate and took an intercalated BSc in physiology before completing his clinical studies and qualifying in 1961. He displayed an academic and enquiring mind as an undergraduate and made a biochemical study of the cause of facial flushing in carcinoid syndrome, later published in The Quarterly Journal of Medicine in 1962. He also participated in many of the sporting and social activities of the medical school, including rugby football, swimming, water polo and the dramatic/operatic society.
After graduation he worked as house physician to Stan Peart at St Mary’s and then, after a surgical post at the Royal Northern, he became a senior house officer in endocrinology to C L Cope [Munk's Roll, Vol.VI, p.118] at the Hammersmith Postgraduate School. He obtained his membership of the College and an MSc in biochemistry before joining the National Institute of Medical Research at Mill Hill, with a Chancellor’s academic award. He worked with Jan Tata and completed an endocrine study on protein synthesis in secretory and non-secretory tissues for a PhD, awarded in 1969. This work was published jointly with Tata in several subsequent papers.
He returned to clinical training in endocrinology as a senior registrar at Hammersmith Hospital and then, in 1970, he joined the newly opened Clinical Research Centre at Northwick Park Hospital, as a senior scientific staff officer and honorary consultant in the division of inherited metabolic disease under the direction of R Watts. This post was half-time acute clinical medicine and half-time scientific research. He pursued several biochemical studies, jointly within the department, of the effects of drugs on protein and RNA synthesis in human granulocytes and bone marrow cultures, as a study of drug-induced agranulocytosis. He extended his biochemical studies into measures of intracellular amino acid precursors in patients and carriers of phenylketonuria and Leseh-Nyhan syndrome. Several studies correlated these biochemical levels with the clinical features and levels of disability in these diseases. He also commenced a lifelong study of metabolic muscle disease beginning with hypothyroid myopathy. He later wrote a chapter on metabolic disorders of muscle for the textbook Biochemical aspects of human disease, ed A S Tavill and R S Elkeles, Oxford, Blackwell Scientific, 1983.
Tony met his future wife, Jacqueline Evans from his home county of Somerset, when he was an undergraduate and they married in 1963. They had three sons. When they all moved to Harrow in 1970, he found time to modernize a large Victorian house which was a welcome haven for family and many other friends. It is probably true to say that he became disillusioned with academic medicine in England and for this, and personal reasons, in 1975 he decided to embark on a new career in the USA.
He became chief of medicine at Emmanuel Hospital, Portland, Oregon. He was an accomplished teacher, clinician and administrator, and a successful director of the residency training programme. He continued his interest in metabolic muscle and bone disease and was a much sought after opinion in the North West States, as well as a visiting professor and lecturer at several university centres in the USA and Canada. He was president of the Portland Academy of Medicine in 1987 and belonged to many medical and scientific associations. He maintained contact with family and friends in the UK and regularly attended meetings of the Association of Physicians.
Tony Andrews was a much admired colleague. His selfless service to the residency training programme and his ready approachability and affability was much appreciated by seniors and juniors alike. His personal integrity was never questioned. His opinions were given succinctly and without pomposity. He retained his innate quiet Englishness and ready wit. With his wife and sons, he went sailing and skiing and, in latter years, took up and enjoyed scuba diving. He appeared to be in his professional prime and in excellent health when he suddenly suffered an unheralded heart attack at home, at the early age of 57 years.
M J Campbell
[Brit.med.J., 1993,306,1747;St. Mary's Hosp. Gaz., 99,no.3(Oct)1993]