Bryan Matthews

Sir Bryan Harold Cabot Matthews, CBE, FRS[1] (14 June 1906 – 23 July 1986) was Professor of Physiology, Cambridge University 1952–1973, Emeritus professor thereafter and Life Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.[2][3]

Bryan Harold Cabot Matthews
Born14 June 1906
Died23 July 1986
Scientific career
Fieldshigh altitude physiology and aviation medicine

Matthews was educated at Clifton College and King's College, Cambridge where he took a degree in Physiology and became a research student of Edgar D. Adrian, working with him, and later with Donald Henry Barron on the recording of single nerve impulses.[2] He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1940 for his foundational work on electro-encephalography, but later moved into the study of high altitude physiology and aviation medicine.[2]

He was a fellow of King's College from 1929 onwards and was appointed Director of Studies in Medicine in 1932. During the Second World War he was the appointed the head of the Royal Air Force's Physiological Research Unit, followed by a short-term position as the head of the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine (1944-6). Matthews returned to Cambridge and succeeded Adrian as the professor of Physiology from 1952 until his retirement in 1973.[2]

Matthews married Rachel Eckhard, who has been a research student in the laboratory where he was an undergraduate, having two daughters and a son. The marriage was later dissolved and he remarried Audrey Stewart.[2] Matthews' elder brother was the zoologist Leonard Harrison Matthews.[2]


  1. Gray, John (1990). "Bryan Harold Cabot Matthews. 14 June 1906-23 July 1986". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 35: 264–279. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1990.0012. PMID 11622279.
  2. "Bryan Matthews". Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 293 (6545): 511. 1986. doi:10.1136/bmj.293.6545.511. PMC 1341157.
  3. Unknown Author, Who Was Who: Sir Bryan Harold Cabot Matthews, A & C Black, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007, via
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