Dr John Fraser Roberts, CBE, MD, FRS, President of the RAI 1957-59, died on 15 January at the age of 87. He was Director of the Medical Research Council’s Clinical Genetical Research Unit, Institute of Child Health, 1957-64. He was a notable pioneer in using methods of genetic analysis to study hereditary factors in disease.

Fraser Roberts devoted much of his career to genetic counselling, having set up a clinic for this purpose in London, the first in Europe, as early as 1940. But he was also committed to the academic analysis of genetic influences, and was specially prominent in showing associations between blood group type and susceptibility to certain common diseases such as stomach cancer, where group A persons have an approximately 20% greater susceptibility than group O persons, though they have a lower susceptibility to bleeding diseases such as ulcers. Among his publications was An Introduction to Medical Genetics, 1940 (7th ed., 1978). (See Times, 19 Jan.)

This obituary first appeared as: Feb. 1987. 'Obituary'. Anthropology Today, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 26 Reproduced with permission.


To cite this article:

Feb. 1987. 'Obituary'. Anthropology Today, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 26 (available on-line: https://therai.org.uk/archives-and-manuscripts/obituaries/john-fraser-roberts).