Obituary: David Iwan Lewis-Jones, 25/01/1948–23/10/2016

The death of Iwan Lewis-Jones at the age of only 67, took from the Andrology community a greatly loved and respected scientist and clinician who is deeply mourned by all who knew him. Throughout his career, Iwan was instrumental in developing the careers of others, supervising 11 post-graduate students to their degrees and inspiring countless others through his exceptional teaching or his force of character at conferences. He published 109 peer-reviewed full papers and made important contributions to the practice of Andrology.

 

Having graduated in Medicine from the University of Liverpool, he worked as a GP in Liverpool for a couple of years before joining the university as a Demonstrator and Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. He taught head and neck anatomy and his class was very popular among medical students for the clarity of his teaching and his ability to enliven such a dry discipline. Alongside this, he started his PhD studying immunoglobulins in human breast milk but his life as an Andrologist began after that when he went on to study anti-sperm antibodies.

 

This new interest in reproductive dysfunction led him to specialise in the area in his clinical work at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where he established the regional sperm bank to support the assisted reproduction programme. At the same time, he served as Academic Sub-Dean for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Liverpool, which involved considerable pastoral work, a role for which he was supremely well suited owing to his charisma, empathy and warmth of personality. His research during this period led to the establishment of the Sperm Deformity Index as a valuable adjunct to sperm morphology that is still recommended by the WHO. He also made a whole string of advances in our understanding of the nature and impact of anti-sperm antibodies.

 

Iwan chaired the BAS from 2000 to 2004 and with his colleague Nabil Aziz organized the annual scientific meeting in Liverpool on three occasions (1992, 2003, 2013). It was in this role and more generally as a senior member of the Society that he touched the lives and careers of many of us working in the field today. He gave the impression of being inexhaustibly good-humoured and was always encouraging to younger scientists. He was a constant source of clear-sightedness and wisdom and used his depth of knowledge and breadth of experience to the great benefit of UK Andrology. The sense of loss felt by all who knew him is matched only by the huge affection and respect he commanded.

 

On behalf of the BAS Committee. We are grateful for additional contributions from Nabil Aziz, Steve Troup and members of Iwan’s family.


March 7, 2017