Imperial College London

In Memoriam: Professor Roger M Greenhalgh

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Roger Malcolm Greenhalgh

Roger M Greenhalgh 1941 - 2023

Roger Malcolm Greenhalgh, the internationally renowned surgeon for his major contributions to education, training and research in vascular surgery, died peacefully on October 6, aged 82. He was Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College London’s Department of Surgery & Cancer.

Roger Greenhalgh, born in Derbyshire, was not from a medical background. He was the first in his family to attend university and at Clare College, Cambridge. At St Thomas’s Hospital in London, he qualified as a doctor and was allowed to move up the surgical ladder with a rotation to learn research method at the Hammersmith Hospital after his surgical training at St Thomas’s. During this time he discovered a love of vascular surgery.

He went on to become professor of surgery, head of the university department and dean and Dean of Charing Cross & Westminster Medical School for four years, between 1993 and 1997, during which time he oversaw a merger with Imperial College London

Professor Greenhalgh’s long and distinguished research career, with more than 300 original published papers, spanned all areas of vascular surgery: venous, carotid, peripheral and aortic. His most significant contributions came from his early adoption of the rigour of prospective randomised trials to address the grey areas in vascular disease management.

He led more than a dozen trials in the field of aneurysm management to promote level-one evidence in clinical practice, including the UK Small Aneurysms Trial (UKSAT) and the UK endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR 1 and 2) trials. UKSAT was the first trial to show that there was no long-term survival benefit of early elective open repair of small abdominal aortic aneurysms. The 15 years follow up of the EVAR 1 and 2 trials were published in The Lancet in 2016 showing EVAR has an early survival benefit but an inferior late survival compared with open repair, which needs to be addressed by lifelong surveillance of EVAR and reintervention if necessary.

Professor Greenhalgh played a pivotal role in the creation of the European Society for Vascular Surgery (ESVS) and the establishment of its journal. The ESVS was launched at CX 1987 and Greenhalgh wrote the constitution. He was founder and chairman of the editorial board for the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (EJVES) from 1987 to 2003.

He also played a major role in the development of surgical training and standards across Europe through his role as President of the European Board of Surgery for the European Union of Medical Specialists (Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes – UEMS) from 1998 to 2002 and the European Board of Vascular Surgery (2002-2006). The European Board of Vascular Surgery honoured Greenhalgh as Honorary Life President in recognition of his founding role.

Professor Greenhalgh had remained an active member of the Department of Surgery & Cancer, including publishing high impact papers which were included in the latest REF.

Greenhalgh was married to Karin—who died in April 2020 from COVID-19—for over 55 years. He is survived by his two children, Stephen (Lord Greenhalgh) and Christina, and three grandchildren of whom he was immensely proud.

This article was adapted from an Obituary in Vascular News

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Benjie Coleman

Benjie Coleman
Department of Surgery & Cancer

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 0964
Email: b.coleman@imperial.ac.uk

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