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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65
CECIL JAMES WATSON
May 31, 1901-April 11, 1983
BY RUDI SCHMID
SINE DOCTRINA VITA EST QUASI MORTIS IMAGO1 (Life without teaching would be just an image of death).
Cecil James Watson was first and foremost a medical educator. His boundless enthusiasm and insatiable intellectual curiosity stimulated countless medical students to search for the why of clinical phenomena observed at the bedside. When neither clinical observation nor literature search were able to provide answers, the laboratory became the arena where solutions were sought. Cecil Watson was far ahead of his time in recognizing the indispensability of chemical and biochemical exploration for the understanding of disease. His pioneering scientific work on the metabolism of hemoglobin, porphyrins and bile pigments emanated largely from puzzling clinical observations for which his restless mind demanded explanations. But even when his scientific inquiries took him deep into the realm of chemical analysis, animal experiments, or tracer studies, he never lost sight of the original clinical observations which had stimulated his far-reaching investigations. Long after his retirement from academic responsibilities, he had the unique intellectual satisfaction of discovering a highly effective and often life-saving therapy for a disease which had preoccupied him for