Son of Sir Robert Christison, professor of medical jurisprudence in the University of Edinburgh. Born in 1828 in Edinburgh, Alexander Christison was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Edinburgh University, and graduated MD in 1850, winning the gold medal for a thesis on cannabis indica. In the following year he became assistant surgeon in the Honourable East India Company's Service, and served with the 4th Sikh Infantry in the Burmese war, 1852-1853. He served again with the 1st Cavalry, Gwalior Contingent, in 1855-1857, and with Meade's Horse in 1858, during the mutiny at Gwalior and Agra. Afterwards he had medical charge of the 18th Bengal Infantry. In 1858 he was appointed superintendent of vaccination and lecturer in surgery at the Agra medical school, and in 1865 became principal of the school and superintendent of the Agra Lunatic Asylum. He was then promoted surgeon-major in 1871, deputy surgeon-general in 1877, and in 1879 became surgeon-general for the North-West Provinces and Oudi. He retired in 1882, when he succeeded his father, and settled in Edinburgh. During his long residence there he shoed great interest in medical matters, particularly in the medical education of women, being for a long time president of the Scottish Assocaition for the Medical Education of Women. He was president of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Edinburgh from its foundation in 1887.
Source: Obituary of Sir Alexander Christison, The British Medical Journal, 1918;2, p.452. Accessed online at http://www.bmj.com/content/2/3016/452.2