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Professor Diana Kristin Henry


Professor Kristin Henry who passed away peacefully on October 11th 2021 was a world leader in Pathology, a renowned academic and gifted diagnostic Histopathologist. She was a tireless educator, a mentor and great friend to many. 

Professor Kristin HenryKristin was born in India on the border with Pakistan where her father was in the British Service. She attended boarding school at Malvern College and read Medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital University of London, having enrolled aged only 17 years. After receiving her FRCP and FRCPath Kristin was appointed in 1970 as a Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Pathology in the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and Hammersmith Hospital. In 1974 she moved to The Westminster Hospital and Westminster Children’s Hospital where she was awarded a Personal Chair in 1982 and appointed Academic and Service Head of the Department. In 1987 the Westminster Hospital closed and its services joined those in Charing Cross Hospital where Professor Henry was appointed to the London University Chair of Pathology at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School. In 1998 she was appointed Emeritus Professor of Pathology at Imperial College London.

Kristin was a superb general histopathologist and cytopathologist but her particular area of interest was in haematopathology including the thymus gland. She was widely and warmly referred to as “The Queen of Lymphomas”. As a member of the Westminster Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Team and as the lead Pathologist for the Melanoma Unit her skills were greatly utilised and appreciated.  She published extensively in these areas and presented teaching seminars all over the world. She founded the British Lymphoma Group and was also a co-founder of the European Bone Marrow Working Group in 1993. 

Kristin’s contribution to pathology nationally and internationally has been immense. She served as a Council Member of the British Division of the International Academy of Pathology (BDIAP) and as its Treasurer for eight years. She credited her husband George, a stockbroker, for ensuring the BDIAP remained in good financial standing. She was elected President of the BDIAP in 1995 and proudly received its two most prestigious awards, The President’s Medal in 1995 and The Cunningham Medal in 1997 for her longstanding and enormous contribution to the British Division.  
She was pivotal in the establishment by the BDIAP of the first overseas British School of Pathology in collaboration with the International Academy of Pathology (IAP). This model of post graduate education and continuous professional development (CPD) was greatly appreciated by her pathology colleagues and friends across 23 countries of North Africa and the near and Middle East. Her contribution to the Arab British School of Pathology was recognised when she was presented with the IAP’s David F Hardwick Gold Medal award in 2006. This very successful model of education was used by the BDIAP to develop other equally successful projects including the Bosnian British, Sri Lankan British and East African British schools of Pathology.
In 2010 Kristin was elected President of The International Academy of Pathology (IAP), the leading body of international histopathology. This global Pathology Academy has members from 55 different IAP Divisions. Kristin was Chair of the IAP Education sub-committee and remained an active member until 2 years before she died. 

She served on the editorial committees of several histopathology journals including Histopathology, The Journal of Ultrastructure and was an Associate Editor of International Journal of Surgical Pathology. Her vision to facilitate and enhance education in Pathology led to her establishing the Current Diagnostic Pathology journal, more recently renamed Diagnostic Pathology. She intended this journal in particular to assist trainees in Histopathology and it has been remarkably successful in this endeavour.

Kristin had indefatigable energy. She was courageous and a great optimist with a “can do, will do” attitude. A charming, vivacious, convivial, warm, kind hearted and generous person, she loved nothing better than good company and keeping up with her many friends and fellow Histopathologists. She was a devoted animal lover and  regularly had a menagerie of dogs, cats, pigeons and even an occasional fox in her home.

This Titan of Laboratory Medicine will be remembered for her untiring contribution to the understanding and development of Histopathology and for her enthusiasm and passion for furthering education in this specialty. Her inspiring personality, generosity of spirit and her humanity made her a role model for many pathologists, especially women, throughout the world.

Kristin was predeceased by her beloved husband George 8 years ago. She is survived by her son Dominic, her daughter Georgea and her three grandchildren Romily, India and Orlando who were a great source of pride and comfort to her, particularly in her latter months.

Professor Mary Leader

Dr Ann Sandison
London, UK