He achieved international acclaim for his work in elucidating the mechanisms of normal blood coagulation, the causation of abnormal bleeding and the various abnormalities which cause thrombosis. He played a key role in Medical Research Council committees which investigated the value of anticoagulants in preventing the recurrence of myocardial infarction and later with the Maryland Medical Research Institute where he investigated the role of antiplatelet agents in the prevention of recurrence of stroke and myocardial infarction. This work set the scene for modern management of these problems.
Alexander Stuart Douglas was from a humble crofting background and was educated at Elgin Academy and then at Glasgow University – graduating BSc (1941) and MB ChB (with commendation) 1944. After his training positions in medicine and surgery, he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps (1945 – 1948) mainly in Palestine during a period of civil unrest. He was promoted to the rank of Major and “Mentioned in Despatches”.