Biochemistry Department

Administrative / Biographical History

The Bio-Chemistry Department was founded in 1928. The University of Glasgow set up a Lectureship in Bio-Chemistry in relation to Infancy and Childhood, tenable at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow and associated with the Department of Medical Paediatrics there. The lecturer was also to be Clinical Bio-Chemist to the Hospital. Dr Noah Morris BSc, (Distinction) ChB, MD (Hons) DPH, FRFPS (Glasgow) was appointed from 1 Jan 1928 at a salary of £550. He was to be appointed annually by the University Court and by the Hospital Board. He was to devote his whole time to the post and his duties were to include:

  • giving practical instruction in Bio-Chemical methods to medical students and practitioners
  • promoting the advancement of medical knowledge in relation to infancy and childhood by scientific investigation
  • assisting the Physicians and Surgeons of the Hospital by undertaking chemical examinations and tests in relation to the patients under their charge
  • carrying out within the Hospital clinical observations and investigations on their behalf or at their instance.

The Pathologist and Bio-Chemist were also to co-operate in research work.

The Board of the Hospital was to provide him with a laboratory and equipment. Initially the Bio-Chemist worked in the Medical Laboratory, this being the only place available, but a temporary laboratory was constructed on the roof in 1938, above Ward 1V, along with provision for the Splint Department.

The lab remained on roof until the buildings were demolished, c1966, then moved into the theatre suite. A new laboratory block, housing biochemistry, haematology and medical genetics was completed in 1970. The labs also did the biochemical work for the Queen Mother’s Hospital, which opened in 1964, and for the Geriatric Unit at Drumchapel from 1968. All the labs moved to the new 'super laboratory' building at the Southern General Hospital c May-June 2012.