Quick Professor of Biology

The Quick Professorship of Biology is one of the senior professorships in biology at the University of Cambridge.

Frederick James Quick (1836-1902) was a wealthy coffee merchant who was employed in the London law-firm Quick, Reek and James at the time of his death. He bequeathed the majority of his wealth to the University of Cambridge (he had been a law student at Trinity Hall, graduating in 1859) to be used in the 'study of vegetable and animal biology'.[1] After much debate, it was decided that the professorship should primarily cover the field of protozoology, and in 1906 George Nuttall became the first holder of the chair.

From 1907 to 1921 there was a laboratory associated with the chair, known as the Quick Laboratory: it was a single room, divided into cubicles, on the ground floor of the Cambridge Medical School building. In 1919, after an appeal for funds by the Quick Professor, the Molteno Institute of Parasitology was established. In 1920 the scope of the chair was broadened to the study of parasitology. In 1931 the chair was offered to David Keilin for study of cell biology.[2]

Quick Professors


  1. "Quick, Frederick James (QK855FJ)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. Sir Humphry Davy Rolleston (1932). "Department of the Quick Chair of Biology". The Cambridge Medical School: A Biographical History. CUP Archive. pp. 117–119. GGKEY:ZZD78EUR4DK. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
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