Blue plaque in Salisbury honouring Dr Marina Seabright to be unveiled

A BLUE plaque recognising the work of a ‘groundbreaking’ doctor at the former Salisbury Infirmary will be unveiled next week.

The plaque recognises the work of Dr Marina Seabright OBE, who carried out a raft of landmark research in the field of cytogenetics, studying cells to identify abnormalities in chromosones which could indicate a genetic disease or disorder.

Representatives from the Salisbury Civic Society and Salisbury Soroptimists, who organised the tribute, will be on hand at the unveiling of the plaque at the Old Salisbury Infirmary building on Wednesday, September 6, at 2.30pm.

They will be joined by the Mayor of Salisbury, along with representative scientists from Wessex Genomics. The plaque was inspired by the successful Her Salisbury Story project, completed by the Soroptimists last year, recognising the achievements of women in the city.

Dr Seabright produced the first significant results by accident, but revisited the method some years later and recognised its significance.

By using trypsin, she was able to simply, speedily and cheaply characterise individual chromosones. This transformed the field of human genetics and is still widely used today.

The plaque will recognise Dr Seabright's pioneering work

The plaque will recognise Dr Seabright’s pioneering work

She was born in Calabria, Italy, in 1922 and studied medicine at Palermo before marrying Harold Seabright, an English sub lieutenant in the Royal Navy volunteer reserves.

They settled in Ringwood, Hampshire, and she began work at Salisbury pathology department after being turned down by University of Bristol.

In 1971, she published her much cited paper on trypsin G-banding technique for chromosomes and was awarded a PhD in the mid 70s for work on the effects of xrays on chromosomes.

READ MORE: Blue plaque plan to honour work of Dr Marina Seabright

She became consultant scientist and director of the Wessex Regional Cytogenetics unit, based in Salisbury, which flourished under her leadership.

On the day she retired, December 31, 1987, she was awarded an OBE.

She lived in Ringwood until her death in 2007.

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