In summer 2021 we were delighted to welcome as Patrons of the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, Susan Standring and Barry Jackson. Both have a wonderful and long-standing connection to the museum and the subject matter it conveys and we are thrilled they have joined us as such at exciting time as we mark 200 years of the operating theatre and the 60th anniversary of the museum in 2022.
Susan Standring MBE, PhD, DSc, FKC, FRBS, Hon FAS, Hon FRCS
“I have spent much of my life wondering how living things are constructed – from an early age I have wondered ‘what’s inside’ and ‘how does that work’? I went up to Guy’s Hospital Medical School in 1964 to study medicine, little knowing as I travelled on the long train journey to London from Cornwall that I would switch mid-course to study for a PhD, a move that started my life-long love affair with Schwann cells.
Over half a century later I am Emeritus Professor of Anatomy at King’s College London (KCL), a Fellow of KCL and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. As an anatomist, I taught medical and dental students and surgical trainees for over 40 years and I remain a champion of anatomy as a fundamental component of medical education. In my ‘retirement’, I continue to publish and lecture on aspects of anatomical and surgical history: I am sometimes asked to write Forewords or dust sheet ‘blurbs’ for anatomical or surgical books – apparently this is the fate of retired professors! Wearing another professional ‘hat’, this time as a neuroscientist, I published extensively on the biology of repair in the peripheral nervous system and I am a Past President of the Peripheral Nerve Society.
I acted as Admissions Tutor for Medicine for many years – during this time I was involved in driving forwards the Access to Medicine Programme at KCL and I acted as External Adviser to an Open University team tasked with developing a foundation course in health sciences (an experience that introduced me to the multiple roundabouts that are such a feature of the roads in Milton Keynes).
I am a Past President of the Anatomical Society and the immediate Past President of the Hunterian Society. I have been Editor-in-Chief of Gray’s Anatomy for 20 years (39th – 42nd editions): this world famous book has been in continuous publication since 1858 – given that this is less than 40 years after the herb garret of St Thomas’ Church was transformed into an operating theatre for the women’s ward, it is highly likely that many of the surgeons working in the Old Operating Theatre would have learned their anatomy by studying early editions of Gray’s Anatomy.
I have been a Trustee of both the Damiliola Taylor Trust and of Changing Faces and I sit on the Board of Trustees of the Hunterian Collection at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
I was delighted to accept the invitation to be a Patron of the Old Operating Theatre and I am looking forward to working with the OOT ‘team’.”
Sir Barry Jackson
Sir Barry Jackson MS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCSGlas, FKC
Sir Barry Jackson, now retired, was a consultant surgeon at St Thomas’ Hospital for thirty years specialising in intestinal surgery.
Between 1991 and 2001, he was Serjeant Surgeon to The Queen. He is a past president of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons and of the Royal Society of Medicine as well as being an honorary fellow of several overseas surgical colleges.
He has a longstanding interest in the history of medicine and surgery and his first visit to the Old Operating Theatre was as far back as the early 1960s soon after it opened to the public. He has seen the Herb Garret transform from an empty space to a first-class medical museum.