BA Camb 1907, MB BCh 1911, MD 1918; FRCP Lond 1918; MRCS Eng 1909.
Topley was professor of bacteriology at the University of Manchester. He was born in Lewisham on 19 January 1886 and gained his medical education at Cambridge and St Thomas's, gaining a number of academic distinctions. He began his career as assistant director of St Thomas's Hospital Laboratories, and the following year became director of the department of clinical pathology and lecturer on bacteriology at Charing Cross Hospital. Topley served in Serbia as captain in the RAMC during the first world war. In 1922, Topley was elected to the chair of bacteriology at the University of Manchester and became prominent among bacteriologists. He later went to London as first professor of bacteriology and director of the division of bacteriology in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Topley was a pioneer of, and later an authority on, the use of experimental methods in the study of epidemics. He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1930, and served on the council for a number of years. Topley died suddenly on 21 January 1944, aged 57.