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In Memoriam


									In Memoriam
Peter Dolphin: A Remembrance
      Peter Dolphin, a great friend and supporter of     MRC/CIHR, as well as from the
the CSBMCB, died suddenly on Friday, June 22,            Heart and Stroke Foundation.
2001 at the age of 54. His mother died of a heart        He was very involved in peer
attack on the same day 10 years earlier. Peter had       review and in research policy
been feeling unwell for about a week but refused         development for these and other
to consider that it could be anything serious. Barb      organizations.
Bigelow, the departmental secretary, didn’t agree              Peter had many honours
and persuaded him to go to the Emergency Clinic          undergraduate and graduate stu-
on Monday. He was admitted to the hospital right         dents in his laboratory over the
away and was told that he had already had a mild         years and was a true mentor to
heart attack. By Thursday, he seemed much better         them. One student in particular
and complained that he was bored, asked for visi-        was a quiet young Malaysian
tors and especially wanted to see data from the lab.     woman who did her honours
Then suddenly on Friday morning he suffered car-         project in my lab. Eve Teh was
diac arrest and couldn’t be revived. Word spread         terrific at the bench but hesitated
quickly. His daughter Fiona and his sister Alex          about graduate school. Peter
flew over from England and the funeral, in beau-         could see that she had a real tal-
tiful old St. Paul’s Church, was packed with col-        ent for research and persuaded her to join his lab. In   Peter Dolphin
leagues and friends from many walks of life.             the following four years, Peter taught Eve lipopro-
      We are all finding it difficult to fully imagine   tein metabolism in all its arcane detail and Eve in-
life without Peter. He had been at Dalhousie since       troduced molecular biology into Peter’s lab and
1978 and was very active in all aspects of life in       cloned a novel mutant gene for cholesteryl ester
biochemistry, in our department, in the university,      transfer protein (CETP). Her work won a number of
in Canada and indeed in the world. At the time of        prizes and she is now a CIHR fellow at UBC in
his death he was Secretary General of PABMB and          Ross McGillvary’s lab, doing beautiful structure-
treasurer of the IUBMB. He loved to travel and           function studies on transferrin.
had been to Chile and Brazil several times in con-             Eve won the Patrick Prize, given by retired
nection with PABMB business. One of his goals            faculty member Syd Patrick, for a Ph.D. thesis
was to increase interactions between Canadian and        judged to have had the most impact in the previous
South American biochemists and students. Peter           two years. She flew here last March for a seminar
was instrumental in securing the huge IUBMB              and presentation of the prize. Peter put on a wonder-
meeting for Toronto in 2003. He went to Tokyo for        ful party for her. He cooked for days, then donned
a meeting of the IUBMB executive and made all            a French Chef’s outfit and served delicious interna-
of the right arguments. Recently, he was involved        tional cuisine to all of us!
in several planning functions for the IUBMB                    Peter liked teaching and often referred to his
meeting, including the Scientific Program Com-           role model for the ideal biochemistry teacher, Prof.
mittee. Peter was active in the former Canadian          Muhammad Akhtar at the University of Southamp-
Biochemical Society in various capacities in the         ton in England. Peter did his undergraduate work in
1980s and early 90s, and in 1996 was president of        honours physiology and biochemistry at Southamp-
its expanded successor, the CSBMCB. Later he             ton followed by his Ph.D. in Akhtar’s lab, finishing
served as president of the CFBS. He also was Re-         in 1971. I was a postdoctoral fellow in Akhtar’s lab
gional Director for the MRC/CIHR in the Mari-            at the same time, along with 13 students from all
time Provinces (1998-2001). In this role, he helped      over the world. It was a great place. Akhtar was so
many local applicants and grantees with funding          dynamic, and full of ideas. He was basically a ster-
issues. For his own research in the area of lipopro-     oid chemist, but already in 1968 he was intrigued by
tein metabolism, Peter always held grants from           the notion of using molecular biology to sort out

                                                                                               CSBMCB/SCBBMC Bulletin 2001        / 35
                                            steroid hormone action. Akhtar        particularly well was the CBS annual dinner in
                                            talked to every one of his students   1988 in Quebec City. The Nobel Laureate, Dorothy
                                            every day and loved a good argu-      Hodgkin, had given the first Jeanne Manery Fisher
                                            ment. But he was always encour-       award lecture and was the guest of honour. Peter
                                            aging and helpful. I could see        had always admired Dorothy’s many accomplish-
                                            many of Akhtar’s mentoring            ments in biochemistry and was delighted to have a
                                            qualities emerge in Peter over the    good long conversation with her about science and
                                            years. Peter really was interested    politics. I know he especially liked the attached
                                            in students, and not just his own     photo of Dorothy and himself.
                                            students either. After his funeral,        I have mentioned Peter’s generosity with stu-
                                            several graduate students from        dents but I also remember many examples of kind-
                                            other labs told me stories about      ness with his colleagues. He could be generous
                                            how he had helped them in im-         with his time, ideas, practical technical help and
Peter and Eve Teh at    portant ways in scientific as well as personal mat-       money. A young female colleague has told me that
the party celebrating   ters. He always took part in student-sponsored ac-        Peter’s advice and encouragement were often help-
the awarding of the     tivities, and, as an excellent pool-player himself, he    ful and that he seemed to have special empathy for
Patrick Prize (March    organized a popular annual pool tournament for            younger researchers with family responsibilities.
2001)                   graduate students.                                        He pushed for more protected research time for
                              Peter was very pleased to receive a D.Sc. in        young faculty members. And he was kind to older
                        recognition of his research from the University of        colleagues as well: when I lost grant funding for a
                        Southampton in 1989, and looked splendid at con-          while in the mid 90s, Peter found some travel
                        vocations here wearing the red and blue D.Sc.             money for me to attend an important conference.
                        robes. He always enjoyed celebrations, such as a               Peter liked to fix things and especially to build
                        special dinner at Southampton in Akhtar’s honour          small instruments, models for the lab and for home
                        on his retirement in 1998 with about sixty of             and beautifully finished wooden toys for his chil-
                        Akhtar’s former students and fellows in attendance.       dren. When Carl Breckenridge moved from depart-
                        Another special occasion for Peter that I remember        ment head to the associate deanship, Peter built a
                                                                                  very funny model commemorating Carl’s early
                                                                                  days. He also was an accomplished tailor and made
                                                                                  silk-lined ties and vests of every hue and pattern.
                                                                                  Waiters at a local restaurant wore his splendid vests
                                                                                  and many of us bought his ties for Christmas
                                                                                  presents. My son has one with flying cats on it.
                                                                                  Peter’s own wardrobe often elicited comment, es-
                                                                                  pecially the bright pink shirt worn with an equally
                                                                                  bright tie and matching handkerchief.
                                                                                       Peter was a very loyal person and was quick to
                                                                                  defend colleagues, institutions and programs that
                                                                                  he valued. When graduate programs at Dalhousie
                                                                                  were threatened, with what many of us in biochem-
                                                                                  istry considered an ill-considered proposal for re-
                                                                                  organization, Peter’s response was classic. I can’t
                                                                                  quote it here, but he said what he thought and it was
                                                                                  certainly colourful, as well as effective. He could
                                                                                  always be counted on for an honest, forthright opin-
                                                                                  ion. Although he had a lot of opinions, he wasn’t
                                                                                  doctrinaire and, like Akhtar, loved a good argu-
                                                                                  ment. And he loved to laugh.
                                                                                       It was obvious at Peter’s funeral that he had
Dorothy Hodgkin and Peter at the CBS banquet in June, 1988, Quebec City
                                                                                  friends from many diverse communities in Halifax.
                                                                                  In addition to many academics, there also were
                                                                                  friends from the world of theatre and costume de-

36 / CSBMCB/SCBBMC Bulletin 2001
sign, fellow kite enthusiasts, associates from the             The department has established a Peter Dol-
Liberal party, pool-players and golfers and many of      phin Memorial Fund to provide a graduate student
his son Michael’s school friends.                        award. Donations may be made payable to Dalhou-
     Fiona and Michael buried their father’s ashes       sie University and sent to the Department of Bio-
next to his mother’s grave in Sutton Coldfield in        chemistry & Molecular Biology, Dalhousie Univer-
England last month. They had a gathering at a lo-        sity, Halifax, NS, B3H 4H7.
cal golf club with family and Peter’s long term col-                                       – Catherine Lazier
laborator and good friend from Paris, John                    Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology,
Chapman. Some champagne was drunk: Fiona                                                 Dalhousie University
says that Peter would have approved.

Kenneth Percy Strickland
(August 19, 1927 - August 28, 2000)
Dr. H. B. Stewart and E.R. Tustanoff

     It is with sadness we relate to our membership      search, Australia National Uni-
that one of our Society’s devoted and long standing      versity and later returned for
members passed away after suffering from Alzhe-          five months in 1976. The Uni-
imer’s. Dr. Ken Strickland served our Society well.      versity of Western Ontario
He was a member of the Board as a Councillor             granted him tenure in 1989 and
from 1972 to 1975, and then took on the onerous          he remained on staff until 1993
task as Society Treasurer from 1978 to 1981.             when he was awarded Emeritus
     Kenneth (Ken) enrolled in Honours Chemis-           status.
try at the University of Western Ontario in 1945,              Ken willingly accepted
completed his degree in 1949, and proceeded in           various academic responsibili-
graduate study in the Chemistry Department to            ties outside his research activi-
complete his Master’s degree in 1950. He then            ties. He contributed substan-
joined Roger Rossiter in the Department of Bio-          tially to the Medical Pro-
chemistry and, with some innovative research in-         gramme and, when the Hon-
volving the incorporation of radioactive phospho-        ours Biochemistry programme
rus into neurological tissues and tissue fractions, he   was established, played a major
finished his Ph.D. in 1953. He then gained two           role in the first survey course of
years experience in the laboratories of R.H.S.           the discipline as well as supervision of senior stu-
Thompson in Guy’s Hospital Medical School in             dents in various projects. He was eagerly sought
London, England. He returned to his London               after as a supervisor in the Graduate Faculty. Seven
(Canada) department as Assistant Professor, sup-         Doctoral and six Masters candidates successfully
ported for two years by a Lederle Medical Faculty        completed their degree programmes under his su-
award. This support was followed by a National           pervision. Beyond these activities he acted as an
Research Council and later a Medical Research            external examiner of doctoral students, was a ref-
Council Research Associateship as an Associate           eree on various publications and served as a site
Professor (1962) and Full Professor (1966). This         visitor on several occasions.
support continued until 1979 when the Medical                  Ken’s service to his University was distin-
Research Council created the Career Investigator         guished. As an undergraduate he was interested in
post, which he held until 1990. In 1971-72 he spent      athletics and as a faculty member he became a
a year at the John Curtin School of Medical Re-          member of the Athletic Directorate for eight years

                                                                                             CSBMCB/SCBBMC Bulletin 2001   / 37
                    (President for two years). He served on the Senate      graduate students and five post-doctoral fellows,
                    and on committees including the Library Council         Ken produced a total of 84 refereed journal articles
                    and the Advisory Committee on the Health Aspects        and seven chapters in books.
                    in the use of lonizing Radiation. Within the Faculty,        In private 1ife, Ken married Isabel and they
                    he served on the Admissions Committee, the Long         had four children (three girls and one boy). After
                    Range Planning Committee and in his own Depart-         the death of Isabel, Ken married Mary with whom
                    ment he served as Acting Chairman for two years         he remained until his death. He was a very devoted
                    as well as on the Promotion and Tenure Commit-          family man and deeply involved with his children.
                    tee, the onerous Graduate Studies Committee and         Every summer an extended camping trip to some
                    others.                                                 remote part of Canada or to the States was intri-
                          From the mid-fifties until he retired, his re-    cately planned and of course the family summer
                    search was supported by the National Research           cottage was a stated venue.
                    Council and the Medical Research Council. Fol-               Ken was a warm and compassionate person –
                    lowing the pioneering work with the incorporation       he will be missed by all his student colleagues and
                    of radioactive phosphorus into phospholipids he         friends. He was always ready to pitch in and help
                    expanded his investigations into an examination of      and at times was taken advantage of because of his
                    the steps in the biosynthesis and degradation of        empathy for people. He was a very religious person
                    individual phospholipids containing glycerol and        and very much involved in his parish. He served as
                    inositol. Coupled with these studies was an exami-      a lay preacher and was instrumental in planning
                    nation of the metabolic consequences of muscle          and building a new church. He was not evangelis-
                    denervation. This aspect of the work led to studies     tic and if you did not have access to his private life,
                    in normal and myopathic (UM-X7.1) hamsters and          you would never know he was so deeply involved
                    L-6 rats. In medical terms these observations pro-      with his religion. As a quiet and unassuming person
                    vided models for the investigation of demyelinat-       Ken Strickland has made his mark on Biochemis-
                    ing diseases and the abnormalities observed in          try at Western.
                    muscular dystrophy. In all, with the help of 13

38 / CSBMCB/SCBBMC Bulletin 2001

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