Lawrence gained his medical qualifications in 1943 from the University of London. During the first world war, he served in the EMS and the RAF. Lawrence was lecturer in the department of occupational health at the University of Manchester from 1950, but was particularly known for his intensive population surveys. He was director and later consultant of the ARC Field Unit. Lawrence, using his field surveys, demonstrated the link between osteoarthritis and obesity. He also pioneered genetics research, comparing the occurrence of arthritis in twins. In 1969 Lawrence was awarded the prestigious Heberden Oration. Lawrence died on 6 May 1996.
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