Northern Ireland’s one-time foremost cancer doctor, Sidney Lowry, dies at 91

Northern Ireland’s former most senior cancer academic physician has died at the age of 91.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 9:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 11:15 pm
The oncologist Professor Sidney Lowry, seen at the launch of his last book The End of Medicine and the Last Doctor. in the Great Hall at Queen's University, in June 2011. Dr Lowry was aged 80 when the book was published
The oncologist Professor Sidney Lowry, seen at the launch of his last book The End of Medicine and the Last Doctor. in the Great Hall at Queen's University, in June 2011. Dr Lowry was aged 80 when the book was published

Sidney Lowry, who was the inaugural chair of oncology in 1974 at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), was 91 when his life came to an end at the Ulster Hospital on Saturday night.

Professor Lowry had read physics at QUB in the 1940s, and came to see the potential uses of that subject in healthcare, beginning a medical degree at the University of Virginia in the late 1950s, finishing it back at QUB in 1963.

Dr Lowry’s background in physics opened the door to him becoming an expert in radiotherapy treatment for cancer, which was emerging in the 1960s. He sailed out to America with his young family on the QE2 later that decade, becoming a leading oncologist in the state of Maine, before his return to academia in Belfast.

The long-time resident of Bangor was aged 80 when his most recent book, The End of Medicine and the Last Doctor, was published in 2011, which predicted a decreasing need for physicians due to the rise of machines and automation.

Prof Lowry’s wife of 54 years, Dr Barbara Lowry, died in January.