Notable People

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William McPhee Hutchison

Born 2 July 1924, Glasgow, Scotland.
Died 28 December 1998.

An eminent zoologist who discovered that cats are the source of the Toxoplasma parasite infection in humans.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Alumnus, Lecturer
GU Degrees: BSc, 1952; PhD, 1959;

Discover more Parasitologist on the University of Glasgow Story website


The following achievement is associated with William McPhee Hutchison:

Preventing the spread of the parasitic disease Toxoplasmosis
The role of cats in the infection of humans with Toxoplasma parasite was discovered by Bill Hutchison.


The following honours are associated with this person:


William (Bill) McPhee Hutchison (1924-1998) was a Glasgow graduate who became a parasitologist and discovered that cats are the source of the Toxoplasma parasite infection in humans.

Born in Glasgow in 1924 he was educated at Eastwood Secondary. He obtained his Certificate of Fitness for University in 1943, but war delayed his plans. After serving in the Fleet Air Arm he returned to continue his education at the University of Glasgow, where he began with a curriculum in Engineering in 1946 before deciding to study Zoology. As well as achieving academically, he was an accomplished sportsman, receiving a University Fencing Blue in 1949 and winning the Scottish Fencing Club's Ford Cup. He graduated with an Honours BSc in Zoology in 1952 and went on to research intestinal helminths of the cat for a PhD, which was awarded in 1959. Thereafter he took up a lecturing post in Strathclyde University.

In 1970, he was awarded the Robert Koch Medal for his research in Toxoplasmosis. He was the first British scientist to receive this award and in recognition of this, he was appointed Personal Professor by Strathclyde University in 1971. In that year they also awarded him a DSc and he remained there for the rest of his career. He died on 28 December 1998.