John Crofton, 97, a researcher renowned for his work on the treatment of tuberculosis, has died at his home in Scotland.

Dr. Crofton died Nov. 3 in Edinburgh, his family and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said. The cause of death was not given.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Dr. Crofton was instrumental in finding a combination of drugs effective in combating tuberculosis in the 1950s, when doctors were trying to perfect the use of antibiotics against the often lethal disease, the Royal College of Physicians said. He was knighted in 1977.

"The work of Sir John and his colleagues has saved many, many thousands of lives worldwide," the group said in a statement.

After attending school in England and serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps in World War II, he led a team of doctors and bacteriologists in Edinburgh who developed drug combinations that greatly reduced death rates attributed to the disease.

Until then, doctors had very few treatment options, usually prescribing bed rest for tuberculosis patients.

His multidrug approach to tuberculosis also has proven effective in the treatment of various cancers and AIDS.

Dr. Crofton served as an adviser to the World Health Organization on tuberculosis treatment and control, gave speeches throughout the world, and led a campaign against smoking in Scotland. - AP