Professor Tony Frew graduated as a physician in Cambridge then trained in respiratory medicine in London, Nottingham, Oxford, and Stoke-on-Trent. His interest in academic research, mucosal immunology and T-cells was kindled as early as in 1976 with a student project on coeliac disease. His doctoral thesis on T-cells and their emerging role in late-phase reactions to allergen exposure was undertaken in the 1980s in Barry Kay’s lab at the National Heart & Lung Institute, London. After post-doctoral research on occupational (red cedar) asthma in Vancouver, Canada, he joined Stephen Holgate’s group in Southampton in 1992, obtaining a personal chair in 2001, and then in 2005 he moved to Brighton as one of the “founder members” of the new medical school, where in addition to becoming a prominent member of the acute medical, respiratory and allergy teams he established infrastructure for the teaching of medical students.
Tony served for many years on the executive committee of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology and at various times held the positions of Secretary-General and President. Together with Professor Andrew Wardlaw he was successful in bringing the 2010 EAACI Meeting to London, which resulted in one of the largest EAACI meetings ever to take place in a European city. He also served on the Professional Education and International Committees of The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
Tony was one of the leading members of the UK allergy community. He oversaw and expanded an active clinical practice in acute general internal medicine, respiratory medicine and clinical allergy. He served on the BSACI Council from 1993 until September 2018, including two terms as Treasurer and three years as Secretary and became BSACI President in 2012. In 2016, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to UK clinical allergy, he was chosen by the BSACI membership to receive the William Frankland Award and in the following year elected by the membership to deliver the prestigious Jack Pepys Lecture at the BSACI Annual Meeting. This award is presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to the science of allergy and clinical immunology internationally. Tony is one of the few people to have received both of the highest honours bestowed by the Society.
Tony’s research interests included analysis of the clinical effects of allergen immunotherapy and anti-asthma drugs, the health effects of air pollution and the practical aspects of developing allergy services and managing patients with allergic diseases, both medically and psychosocially, in primary care and the community. He served as an associate editor of both JACI and Allergy, supervised in excess of 20 doctoral students and authored nearly 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts.
He will be deeply and sadly missed by us all.
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