It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Professor Peter Sleight earlier this month, at the age of 91. As well as being a distinguished research cardiologist, Professor Sleight was a much loved and admired figure in the department and beyond.
Professor Sleight studied Medicine at Cambridge University and at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School, From1964, he worked as a consultant physiciana and cardiologist in Oxford, and went on to become the very first Field Marshal Alexander Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, a position he held until 1994. He retired from this position in 1994, but continued to work at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. During those time, he was a mentor to many people who are now senior leaders within the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.
Professor Hugh Watkins said "‘Peter has long been a father figure to many in cardiovascular research and clinical care in Oxford and will always be remembered with huge affection and admiration. And of course his impact goes round the world, he was truly a giant in our field. It's extraordinary to consider that we won't all be able to attend his funeral. I am sure that there will be a memorial when circumstances permit.’
I count Peter as one of the most important influences in my career, and am one of very many who do so.
- Hugh Watkins
He added "It's extraordinary to consider that we won't all be able to attend his funeral. I am sure that there will be a memorial when circumstances permit."
Professor Barbara Casadei (pictured above with Professor Sleight) said: "Peter was a man whose personality was large enough to fill a plenary auditorium – let alone a room. He was enthusiastic, unfailingly positive, and always upbeat: nil desperandum, was his usual comment when we had a paper or fellowship application rejected."
"As a proud Yorkshire man in Oxford, he came across as unstuffy and mostly unfiltered. All aspects of academic research were for Peter an endless source of fun and a way of making great friends – it was the greatest endorsement to choosing an academic career path I have ever had."