Skip to Main Content

Gerald Cecil Lalor O.M., O.J., C.D.: BIOGRAPHY

The life and work of Gerald Cecil Lalor, renowned Jamaican scientist.

Young Lalor

Young Gerald Lalor

Gerald Cecil Lalor was born  on December 15, 1930 to parents Gerald Norman Lalor and  Daisy Iris Dryden-Lalor. He was educated at Suthermere Preparatory School and Kingston College before entering The University of the West Indies in 1950.

Master Gerald Cecil Lalor, 9-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. G. N. Lalor of St. Andrew, who has been awarded a scholarship to Kingston College. He was a pupil of Suthermere Preparatory School, Half Way Tree, of which Mrs. Z. M. Sutherland is headmistress. Young Lalor will enter his new school in January.


Gerald Lalor’s association with the University of the West Indies dates back to his student days at the University College of the West Indies at Mona.

  • In 1950 he entered the Faculty of Natural Sciences as an undergraduate to study Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. He graduates with a MSc degree in 1953.
  • In 1957 he completed his Master’s degree from the University of London. His thesis was entitled “ A Physico-Chemical Study of Haematoxylin and Haematein in Colouring Principles of Logwood”. Research for the masters led to the discovery of haematoxylin, a substance extracted from logwood and used in the diagnosis of cancer.
  • Work on the thesis was completed at Mona but the degree was awarded by the University of London as the University College could not award higher degrees. 
  • This research was undertaken while he was employed as Chemist at West Indies Chemicals.
  • In 1957, he won a Leverhulme Research Award and proceeded to Cambridge on leave from West Indies Chemicals. Unfortunately, he had to interrupt his studies when he was called back to West Indies Chemicals. 
  • He subsequently completed his doctoral research at Mona and in 1963 was awarded his PhD from the University of London. The dissertation was entitled “Kinetics of Replacement of Highly Polarisable Ligands in Complex Ions”.