UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


John Marshall

John Marshall (1922 - 2014) was ​​​​​​​Professor of Clinical Neurology and former Dean of the Institute of Neurology between 1982 and 1987.

He graduated in medicine from Manchester University in 1946 and worked in that city, the Maudsley Hospital, briefly as a research fellow at the National Hospital, and in Oxford and Edinburgh before returning to Queen Square where he was appointed to the newly established readership in 1956. He held a personal professorship between 1971 and 1987 in the Institute of Neurology.

He led research at Queen Square in stroke (with Ralph Ross Russell, Lindsay Symon and George du Boulay). Marshall’s work was wide-ranging: the introduction of rehabilitation; work on epidemiology and familial incidence of cerebrovascular disease; resolving mechanisms of tissue injury in transient ischaemic attack, preferring the concept of platelet embolization to that of hypotension and arterial spasm; the development of intra-arterial and intravenous methods for quantifying blood flow; determining systems for distinguishing vascular dementia from Alzheimer’s disease; conducting treatment trials of anticoagulation in ischaemic stroke, and aspirin in amaurosis fugax; early applications of the EMI scan and scintigram imaging in stroke; and the first nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) scan in subdural haematoma.

Apart from his areas of research, mainly stroke, Marshall directed the intensive care unit at Queen Square, where he introduced negative pressure ventilation (the ‘iron lung’) for the treatment of poliomyelitis, using a design from the Cowley factory in Oxford, and, subsequently, positive pressure ventilation. He supported speech therapy as a clinical and academic discipline based on techniques learned from the Australian therapist Lionel Logue, who had treated the stutter of King George VI, and it was Marshall who affiliated the College of Speech Sciences with Queen Square. Marshall served as dean of the Institute of Neurology from 1982 to 1987. In that capacity, he was instrumental in bringing David Marsden to Queen Square as Roger Gilliatt’s successor.

In retirement, Marshall was chairman of the Board of Governors at the National Hospital for Epilepsy at Chalfont St Peter, and led the successful appeal for the magnetic resonance scanner dedicated to research in epilepsy.

Queen Square: A History of the National Hospital and its Institute of Neurology https://www.nationalbrainappeal.org/product/queen-square-history-book/