Professor Kenneth (Ken) Lowe, a pioneer in cardiology and former physician to the Queen in Scotland, has died. He was 93.
Born in Arbroath and educated at the town’s high school, he achieved first place in open bursary competitions for St Andrews University and University College Dundee and was awarded a Harkness Residential Scholarship.
In 1942 he assisted Professor Dan Cappell in the pathology department to set up Dundee’s first blood transfusion service before joining the Royal Army Medical Corps, where he specialised in tropical diseases and served in the Caribbean, India, Egypt and Panama.
Rejoining his family in London after the war, Professor Lowe resumed postgraduate training and was medical registrar at the Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital from 1947 to 1951.
While there he worked with Graham Bull and Mark Joekes on Britain’s first artificial kidney machine, invented by Kolff in the Netherlands. Their pioneering studies on the pathology, outcome and treatment of acute renal failure were published in The Lancet and in Clinical Science.
Professor Lowe was awarded the Rutherford Gold Medal for his MD (Honours) thesis on these studies by St Andrews University in 1950. He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1951 and a fellow in 1954.
In 1952 Professor Lowe was appointed senior lecturer in medicine at St Andrews and honorary consultant physician at Dundee Royal Infirmary, later Ninewells Hospital.
He became a full-time NHS consultant physician in 1961 but continued in the university as honorary reader, then honorary professor.
Professor Lowe was president of the St Andrews and Dundee University medical societies and took a keen interest in his students and trainees many of whom continued to visit him and correspond with him for years.
In 2003 he received an honorary Doctor of Science award from the St Andrews Medical School.
Professor Lowe was also a founder committee member of the Scottish Society of Physicians and was its president in 1973.
He was a member of the Dundee General Hospitals board, the first chairman of its division of medicine and also the first chairman of Tayside Regional Postgraduate Medical Committee.
Professor Lowe was appointed physician to the Queen in Scotland in 1971 and was made Commander of the Victorian Order on his retirement in 1982.
Predeceased by his wife Nancy, he is survived by his daughter Alison, sons Gordon and Graham, and five grandchildren.