Biography of Sir David Cuthbertson
Sir David Paton Cuthbertson (1900-1989) was a graduate of the University and a lecturer. He was Director of the Rowett Research Institute from 1945 until 1965, during which time it became one of the world's leading centres for animal nutrition research. He was awarded an LLD by the University in 1960.
Born in Kilmarnock, Cuthbertson served at the end of the First World War in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He studied at the University, graduating BSc (in Chemistry, 1921) and MB, ChB (1926), and was appointed a lecturer in Pathological Biochemistry at the University and a clinical biochemist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. During the following eight years he published a stream of papers on the effects of trauma, illness, immobility and other factors on the metabolism of surgical patients.
Cuthbertson was appointed Grieve Lecturer on Physiological Chemistry at the University in 1934, and pursued his own and collaborative research on the interactions of carbohydrate and fat with the metabolism of protein. In 1937 he was awarded an MD with honours, and the Bellahouston Medal, for his thesis. The publication in The Lancet the following year of his lecture on "Post-shock Metabolic Response" sealed his reputation as one of the world's leading authorities on metabolism.
During the Second World War, Cuthbertson served on research and scientific committees before his secondment to the Medical Research Council in 1943. He was appointed a CBE in 1957, and his retirement from the Rowett in 1965 was marked with a knighthood. In his later years, he continued to investigate the changes in metabolism following injury, supported by the MRC and by Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He is commemorated by a plaque at the infirmary.