Skip to content
Fellows Directory

Osmund Reynolds

Professor Osmund Reynolds CBE FMedSci FRS


Elected: 1993


Osmund Reynolds made a life-saving contribution through his study of the treatment of premature and ill newborn babies. Notably, his research paved the way for the therapeutic cooling of newborns at high risk of brain injury and advanced the technique of mechanical ventilation for babies in respiratory distress.

In the 1970s, Osmund made major advances in mechanical ventilation of newborns that were unable to breathe by themselves, including during transit between hospitals. Later he pioneered the use of imaging techniques, including ultrasound and MRI, to assess brain injury in babies who have suffered a perinatal shortage of oxygen or blood supply to the brain.

He discovered that brain cell death is delayed until several hours after asphyxia, opening up the possibility of preventive therapeutic intervention. He showed in piglets that cooling the brain reduced or prevented cell death. The ‘cool cap’ treatment is now standard practice, preventing death and brain damage in babies around the world.

Professor Osmund Reynolds CBE FMedSci FRS died on 24 April 2017.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups