Anthony Ray Absalom

Anthony Ray Absalom

"Persons of distinction who have contributed to the advancement of intravenous anaesthesia are eligible for election as Honorary Members on the nomination of the committee"

Professor Anthony Ray Absalom

Tony Absalom was born and raised in South Africa and entered medical school after a short commission in the local defence force. He graduated as a doctor in 1988 from Cape Town University and undertook two years of trainee posts in that city. After moving to the UK, Tony entered rotational anaesthetic training with the East Anglian Deanery in 1993.

Tony became involved with the theory and practice of intravenous anaesthesia at an early stage of his career. From 1998-2001 he worked as a research fellow with Professor Gavin Kenny within the Glasgow University group of hospitals. Tony undertook a series of studies that formed the basis of an MD degree on closed-loop control of anaesthesia/sedation using EEG and clinical response as input signals, and model-driven propofol infusions as output. Many high-impact papers and book chapters on these matters followed on from this work, and proposals for patient-controlled sedation using EEG monitoring pre-empted commercially available systems by a decade. Other studies included description and validation of the ‘Paedfusor’ target-controlled infusion model for children.

After a brief appointment as consultant in anaesthesia at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Tony moved to the role of Honorary Senior Clinical Fellow/Consultant Anaesthetist at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge in 2004. He combined an interest in neuroanaesthesia/neurocritical care with functional imaging to gain new insights into the mechanism of action of anaesthetic agents and into mechanisms of consciousness, leading to the publication of further high-impact papers.

In 2009 Tony was invited to join the Anesthesiology Department in Groningen as professor with clinical and academic interest in the neurosciences. At that centre he has developed a network of collaborators in neuroimaging, neurobiology, psychology, neurology, neuro- and cardiac surgery. The thrust of this work has concentrated on studies of the influence of anaesthesia, surgery and cardio-pulmonary bypass on the brain, and in particular investigations of why the elderly brain is vulnerable to these insults.

In his spare time (!) he has collaborated with colleagues to produce seminal work on intravenous anaesthesia; these include the ‘Eleveld’ models for propofol and remifentanil, the ‘Hannivoort’ TCI model for dexmedetomidine, the pocket bible guide “An Overview of TCI and TIVA”, and the definitive textbook “Total Intravenous Anesthesia and Target Controlled Infusions”.

Most recently Tony was a member of the working party which produced “Guidelines for the safe practice of total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA)” from the AAGBI and SIVA.

Tony served two terms as President of the Society from 2012-2018.

Tony’s contribution to the science and practice of intravenous anaesthesia fully warrants his nomination for honorary membership of our Society.