A WOMAN who became a leader in the search for abnormalities in chromosomes will be recognised once the unveiling of a Blue Plaque takes place at the old Salisbury Infirmary building in September.  

Dr Marina Seabright’s work at the Infirmary was groundbreaking. By checking for chromosome abnormalities, she knew it could indicate a genetic disease or disorder.

The first significant results were achieved by accident, but Dr Seabright revisited the method some years later recognising its significance.

By using trypsin, she was able to efficiently and cheaply characterise individual chromosomes which transformed the field of human genetics. The techniques are still widely used today.

Salisbury Journal: Dr Marina Seabright Dr Marina Seabright (Image: ArtCare at Salisbury District Hospital)

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Born in Calabria, Italy in 1922, she studied medicine at Palermo before marrying her husband Harold Seabright who was an English sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy volunteer reserves.

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

In 1971, her paper on trypsin G-branding techniques for chromosomes was published. She was awarded a PhD in the mid-1970s for her work on the effects of X-rays on chromosomes.

She later became the Consultant Scientist and Director of the Wessex Regional Cytogenetics unit based in Salisbury and was awarded an OBE on the day she retired on December 31, 1987.

Dr Marina Seabright lived in Ringwood until her death in 2007.

Salisbury Civic Society and Salisbury Soroptimists succeeded in organising the latest Blue Plaque for a woman of note and the unveiling ceremony will take place on Wednesday, September 6 at the Old Salisbury Infirmary - now Pembroke House. 

Salisbury Journal: Pembroke HousePembroke House (Image: Newsquest)

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The Mayor of Salisbury, Councillor Atiqul Hoque will be attending the ceremony, along with representative scientists from Wessex Genomics, members of the Civic Society and Salisbury Soroptimists.

The plaque was inspired by the successful "Her Salisbury Story" project which was completed by the Soroptimists last year. Following the ceremony, there will be a talk and tea for invited guests.

For more information, go to hersalisburystory.com