Malcolm Watson Greaves (1933-2021)

Malcolm Watson Greaves

With sadness, we would like to inform you that Malcolm Greaves, a true pioneer of European academic dermatology and former Dean of St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London, has died. He was 87.

Malcolm trained in internal medicine and pharmacology in London before starting his dermatology career in Newcastle. He was appointed Senior Lecturer and Consultant at St John’s Institute in 1972, becoming Professor in 1975 and Dean in 1986, a post he held until his (first) retirement in 1999. Never one for the quiet life, Malcolm then spent 3 years as a clinician and teacher at University Kebangsaan in Kuala Lumpur before taking up successive appointments in Singapore at the General Hospital and then the National Skin Centre. He returned to St John’s in 2007 where he worked for the next 10 years in the Cutaneous Allergy Department, only withdrawing from clinical practice in his 80s. Following his final retirement, the academic education suite at St John’s was named after him. 

His contribution to skin research was immense, with more than 600 publications and fundamental discoveries made in psoriasis immunotherapy, the pathophysiology of itch, and the autoimmune basis of chronic urticaria. He had leading roles in several dermatological and pharmacological societies, including serving as President of the EDSR in 1982. Malcolm was also a great teacher. As Dean of St John’s, he expanded the international postgraduate courses in Dermatology, an activity he also continued during his time in Southeast Asia. Scores of dermatologists around the world have been immensely grateful for the teaching and interactions they had with Malcolm. Indeed, Malcolm helped shape many careers in dermatology, creating professional openings and opportunities through his support for individuals he thought were worth investing his energy in.

Malcolm died peacefully at home on the 10th January 2021. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, and by his son Kim (a cardiologist in Australia) and daughter Suki (a psychiatrist in London.)


Richard Barlow, John McGrath, Jonathan Barker
St John’s Institute of Dermatology, London U.K.