Memorial Service held to honour Professor Emeritus Lionel Opie

3 Mar 2020 - 13:15

The Department of Medicine held a Memorial Service on 3 March 2020 to honour Professor Emeritus Lionel Opie, who passed away on 20 February 2020.

Introduced by Professor Ntobeko Ntusi, Professor Solly Benatar reflected on Professor Opie’s long and illustrious career and his many achievements over a career spanning more than 50 years. Former Dean of Medicine, Professor Marian Jacobs, paid tribute to a man she has known since her 6th year as a medical student and who she was honoured to work with right up to the time of her retirement.  Professor Ntusi also read out a few of the many tributes from some of Professor Opie’s long-standing colleagues and collaborators, including Professor Derek Yellon (University College London), Professor Bernard Gersh (Mayo Clinic, USA), Professor Kieran Clarke (Oxford University) and Dr Gaurang Deshpande (a former student of Professor Opie who has now set up his own laboratory in India).

Professor Sandrine Lecour, Deputy Director of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, paid tribute to the Founder and “Father” of the Hatter Institute.  Dr Joy McCarthy and Mr Victor Claassen, former staff members who had both worked with Professor Opie for more than thirty years, reflected on their experiences of a vibrant work atmosphere, led by a man whose work ethic was exemplary and who, indeed, led by example. Professor Opie’s legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of the many people who have had the privilege of working with him and by his outstanding contributions to cardiovascular research.

Prof Marian Jacobs, Prof Lionel Opie, Prof Danie Visser and late Prof Bongani Mayosi celebrating the centenary of the Faculty of Health Sciences and the award of Prof Opie for his record in the number of publications and the highest H-index factor within the Faculty.