Collection of the Month for April – George Macdonald

April 25th is Malaria Day, and as a result, the collection of the month here at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine archives is the Macdonald Collection. George Macdonald was born in 1903 in Sheffield, the son of J Smyth Macdonald (Professor of physiology). George Macdonald went on to studies at Liverpool and London, and later roles included research assistant and research officer. While Macdonald was working in India as Principal Medical Officer for a tea estate, his work caught the attention of Sir Malcolm Watson who recruited Macdonald to be Assistant Director of the Ross Institute in 1937.


George Macdonald


His interest was primarily in malaria, and more specifically its epidemiology and control (his book, ‘The Epidemiology and Control of Malaria’ was released in 1957) but was also keen on the mathematical analysis of malaria.

Macdonald 04

Book review news clipping of Macdonald’s book ‘The Epidemiology and Control of Malaria’ published 1957, from GB 0809 Macdonald /04


The Macdonald Collection at the archives includes material of Professor George Macdonald from his time as Director at the Ross Institute, as well as personal items including diaries and photo albums.

During the Second World War, Macdonald was part of the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Brigadier, where he was in command of the 1st Malaria Field Laboratory in the Middle East. He assisted with the prevention of malaria through inspections of malaria field laboratories, and through use of insecticides. In 1945, Macdonald returned to teach tropical hygiene at the Ross Institute, where in 1947 he succeeded Sir Malcolm Watson as Director. At the same time of this promotion, Macdonald was also appointed as the first Professor of Tropical Hygiene at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Macdonald 03

Mosquito netting, photograph from Macdonald’s photo album GB 0809 Macdonald /03


Professor Macdonald held many accolades, including Honorary Malariaologist to the War Office and being a recipient of the Darling prize for Malaria.

In December 1967, Professor George Macdonald died.

If you are interested in learning more of Professor George Macdonald or visiting the archive, please contact us at

Resources used outside of LSHTM archives:

Malaria Control in Mobile Warfare. Italian Campaign 1943-1945, Lieutenant-Colonel A.W.S Thompson, O.B.E., M.B., M.R.C.P., D.P.H., Royal Army Medical Corps.

World Health Organization, The Darling Foundation,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No comments yet.

Leave a comment