Remembering Inspirational Scientist and Old Bedfordian Professor Paul Talalay

For boys and staff at Bedford School, Professor Paul Talalay, the pharmacologist who died last month aged 95, has been an inspiration for many years.

Bedford School's Head Master, Mr James Hodgson with Head of Science, Mr Mike Beale and the 2019 Talalay Prize Winners
Bedford School's Head Master, Mr James Hodgson with Head of Science, Mr Mike Beale and the 2019 Talalay Prize Winners

11th April 2019 — While known in scientific circles for his work on identifying cancer-preventing properties of a compound found in broccoli, a discovery that was credited with bringing new scientific attention to ways of combating cancer before it takes hold, many may not have heard of Professor Paul Talalay. However, for boys and staff at Bedford School, the pharmacologist who died last month aged 95, has been an inspiration for many years.

Each year at Bedford School the Talalay Prize is awarded to the boy who makes the best presentation of a scientific topic of their choice, demonstrating originality, creativity and presentation skills. The sought-after prize was donated by Professor Talalay and his brother Leon Talalay, also a past pupil, some 27 years ago in recognition of the high standard of teaching that they received, particularly in the sciences, while at Bedford School. Professor Talalay, who was an acclaimed medical professor at John Hopkins University and a worldwide authority in his field, associates his time at Bedford School as being crucial to his development in the sciences.

This year’s competition and prize-giving, which was awarded to Lower Sixth Former Matthew Lewis for his work and presentation on T4 Bacteriophage, was all the more poignant due to Professor Talalay’s recent death. However, it is clear to see that Professor Talalay’s inspirational legacy will live on, not only through the prize at Bedford School that bears his name, but also through the lives of those he inspired over the years, and through his career dedicated to cancer research.

You can read more about Professor Talalay’s life and career in an obituary published in The Independent.



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About Bedford School

Bedford School is an independent boarding and day school for boys aged 7 to 18 years, where fundamental traditions combine with innovative educational thinking. In addition to an established reputation for academic excellence, we are renowned for our strengths in music, the arts and sport. Situated on an extensive parkland estate of 40 acres in the heart of Bedford, the school is a lively community of day boys, weekly and full boarders.

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