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Tributes to prominent neonatologist who conducted pioneering research

Tributes have been paid to prominent neonatologist, Professor Henry Halliday, who died on Saturday. Picture: Belfast Royal Academy Facebook
Marie Louise McConville

MOURNERS will gather in Belfast next week for the funeral of a prominent neo-natologist whose pioneering research led to the development of a therapy which saved the lives of countless of vulnerable babies.

Professor Henry Halliday died at home on Saturday.

Widely respected in his field, in 2021, he received the James Spence Medal from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in recognition of his outstanding work.

Following qualification in Belfast, he trained in the city and three centres in the US before returning to establish a network of neonatal care for Northern Ireland.

He was a pioneer of surfactant therapy, helping to develop a natural product with colleagues in Stockholm.

He designed and ran the clinical trials which proved its effectiveness and it is now the standard of treatment worldwide.

Professor Halliday was also a member of many international societies and was President of the European Society for Paediatric Research and the Irish and American Pediatric Society.

Posting on Facebook, Belfast Royal Academy said it was "deeply saddened to hear the news of the recent passing of esteemed alumnus".

"Professor Halliday was an outstanding international neonatologist, who made contributions to the care of newborn babies throughout the world.

"There can be few international figures in neonatology who do not know of his contribution, and he was awarded the James Spence Medal in 2021 by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

"This is the highest honour bestowed by the RCPCH and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in paediatrics and child health. He was also the first paediatrician from Northern Ireland to receive this prestigious award," the college said.

Another tribute described Professor Halliday as an "inspiration to a generation of neonatologists."

A funeral service will take place on Thursday, November 24 at 1pm at St John's Church, Malone.

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