Dr Kenneth Heaton, 1936-2013
17 July 2013
Dr Kenneth Heaton, formerly Reader in Medicine at the University of Bristol, died this spring after a short illness. His colleague, Professor Chris Probert, offers a tribute.
Ken was wonderful teacher and mentor, leading many students and postgraduates through their formative years and examinations. He supervised the Final MB clinical exam for many years, usually rounding off proceedings with a garden party hosted with his wife, Sue.
As a researcher Ken is famed for his work on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), creating the first validated tool for diagnosing the condition; it underpinned the later Rome Criteria. Later he defined the Bristol Stool Form Score, which is now used internationally by clinicians, nurses and researchers.
His interest in sugar and fibre led to some eccentric Christmas gifts to his team, but his warnings of their dangers have been borne out, both by recent cancer research and the obesity pandemic. Perhaps his greatest legacy is the countless number of students and patients who benefited from his wisdom.
There will be a Celebration of the Life of Kenneth Willoughby Heaton, former Consultant Physician at the BRI and Reader in Medicine at the University of Bristol, at 2.30 pm on Saturday 5 October at St George's Brandon Hill, Great George Street (off Park Street), Bristol BS1 5RR. Everyone who knew Ken and worked with him at the Hospital or in the University would be most welcome to attend, but please contact Sue Heaton at the address below so that the family have some idea of the numbers expected.