Below is a list of individuals who, either as alumni of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, or former faculty members, have made major contributions to their profession, to health research and education, or to society. Many of the names below are laureates of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, invested to the Order of Canada, have received honorary degrees from Western, or have been recognized with major national awards and honours.
However, we realize the list is not complete. If you would like to tell us about your medical, dental or research hero from the School, please email us at email@example.com
The list is alphabetical by last name. Click on the letters below to see profiles:
The late Sir Frederick Banting is best known for his work discovering insulin. While working as a medical demonstrator at Western in 1921, Banting became interested in diabetes, discovering the initial idea that led to the discovery of insulin. He left Western for the University of Toronto where Dr. J.R.R. MacLeod had offered him facilities for research. Sir Frederick Banting, with the help of Drs. Charles Best and James Bertram Collip discovered a way to isolate insulin, thus creating a way to control diabetes. Banting was awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery, was knighted, and is a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Dr. Henry Barnett’s research and work in stroke prevention has changed the way stroke patients receive treatment. His research and clinical trials in stroke included the first randomized trial to show that aspirin prevents stroke and that good medical treatment for stroke patients was more effective than the surgical treatment being used widely at the time. Barnett was the founding Chief of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at University Hospital and Western University, as well as the founding President and Scientific Director of Roberts Research Institute. He is a member of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
The late Dr. Murray Barr is credited with discovering the Barr body, a sex chromatin found only in female mammalia. This breakthrough led to the ability to manage certain disorders associated with mental retardation and began a new era in the research and diagnosis of various genetic disorders. This seminal discovery helped launch the field of genetics in the second half of the century. Along with numerous other honours, Barr was nominated for a Nobel Prize, was one of the first appointed as an Officer to the Order of Canada and is a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Motivated by his long history with Western, he authored the historical book “A Century of Medicine at Western” taking readers on a journey from pre-medical school health care and development in London to 1978 – the centenary year for the University.
Charles T. Beer
While working at Western alongside Dr. Robert Noble, the late Dr. Charles T. Beer isolated vincaleukablastine, an anti-cancer drug. Vinblastine, as it is known today, is one of the most useful chemotherapeutic agents and its discovery and isolation is considered a major milestone in the history of cancer chemotherapy. Today, this agent is used in the management of certain cancers including Hodgkin’s disease and testicular cancer. Beer is a Member of the Order of Canada and a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
After his graduation from the Faculty of Medicine at Western University in 1943, Dr. Douglas Bocking moved to the United States and completed training in rheumatic disease. Upon his return to London, he opened an internal medicine and rheumatic disease practice while also teaching at Western. In 1965, he was promoted to Dean of Medicine - a position he held for 13 years and also became Vice-Provost of Health Sciences at Western. During his tenure, he helped establish the first academic department dedicated to family medicine. He became a member of the Order of Canada in 1999.
Dr. Roberta Bonda received her MSc in Pathology from Schulich Medicine & Dentistry in 1971 and returned to complete her residency in neurology at Western, becoming fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1981. Bondar holds the distinction of being the first Canadian female astronaut in space, and the world’s first astronaut-neurologist. At NASA, Bondar headed an international space medicine research team which worked on finding new connections between astronauts recovering from the microgravity of space and neurological disorders on Earth. She is a member of the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada, laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and holds the NASA Space Medal and many honorary degrees.
An honorary degree recipient from Western, Dr. Bessie Borwein’s long, fruitful academic career at Western University has spanned 40 years. At Western, she is Professor Emerita of Anatomy, and served as Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Medicine and Special Advisor to the Vice-President (Research). She received the Royal Society of Canada’s McNeil Medal for her outstanding contributions to public education and the awareness and importance of science.
Dr. Robert Bourne is a scholar in orthopaedic surgery, a dedicated researcher, and an active contributor to communities around the world. He is also a leading expert in knee and hip replacement surgery, and has helped change the field of orthopaedic surgery worldwide and a Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. He completed his Doctor of Medicine degree at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in 1971. Dr. Bourne has served as Site Chief, Medical Advisory Committee Chair and Board Member for University Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, and Chair/Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery for Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. Dr. Bourne has held a number of other distinguished positions, including President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society, Founding Chair of the Canadian Joint Replacement Registry, President of the Hip Society, and President of the Knee Society. Dr. Bourne was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2012. He has contributed more than 300 publications throughout his impressive career.
Kathleen Braithwaite Sanborn
In 1924, the late Dr. Kathleen Braithwaite Sanborn became the first woman to graduate from the Faculty of Medicine at Western University. After completing internships in Buffalo, New York and London, Ontario, Braithwaite opened a successful practice in Windsor, Ontario with her husband, Dr. Clare Sanborn, also a graduate of Western’s medical program. The Sanborns became longtime supporters of the School.
Henri J. Breault
As Chief of Pediatrics and Director of the Poison Control Centre at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Windsor, Ontario, the late Dr. Henri J. Breault faced 1,000 cases each year of children poisoned by medicine or other hazardous products in the home. From this, he came up with the idea for child-proof containers, which once developed and adopted, dropped the incidence rate of child poisonings by 91 per cent. Through his crusading, the Ontario Government made child-resistant containers mandatory in 1974. Breault established the Ontario Association for the Control of Accidental Poisoning, is a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and is the namesake for the Henri J. Breault Pediatrics Centre at the Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital in Windsor, Ontario.
Dr. Ralph Brooke served as Dean of the School of Dentistry at Western for 15 years – from 1982 to 1997. Under the leadership of Dr. Brooke, the dental school grew and thrived, helping make it one of the top dentistry programs in the country and a destination of choice for students looking for exceptional clinical experience. The Canadian Dental Association awarded him with an Honorary Membership in 1994, which is given to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to Dentistry or the dental profession over a sustained period of time.
The late Dr. Carol Buck was an international leader in the discipline of epidemiology and had a passionate commitment to the field, shown by her extensive work and more than 90 scientific articles she authored. The School’s first female PhD graduate, she also became the first female Department Chair, leading the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics from 1967 to 1977. She has also served as the President of the International Epidemiological Association and as a member of the Pan American Health Organization’s advisory committee on medical research.
The late Dr. R. Maurice Bucke served as the longest Medical Superintendent at the former London Asylum for the Insane. During his tenure, he revolutionized the way patients were treated. He believed routine, a healthy diet, and participation in work, social and recreational activities were important for patient care. He also adopted a non-restraint belief and initiated a policy which allowed patients in his care freedom to access the grounds around the asylum. He also wrote “Man’s Moral Nature” and “Cosmic Consciousness.” He is one of the founders of the medical school at Western.
The late Dr. Alan Burton is considered a founding father of modern biophysics and an early pioneer of interdisciplinary health research. He founded and led the Department of Biophysics at Western University, the first department of its kind in a medical school in Canada. Today, this department’s graduate program is known for their innovation, and the department itself is one of Canada’s largest. Western honoured Burton with the Alan C. Burton Laboratory for Vascular Research. He is a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Dr. Margaret Chan is the current Director-General of the World Health Organization, a position she will hold until 2012. Prior to her current role, Chan was the World Health Organization’s director of Communicable Disease Division, and previously Director of Health for Hong Kong. During her tenure in Hong Kong, she managed outbreaks of avian influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). She also launched new programs designed to prevent the spread of disease and promote better health in general. Chan received her medical degree from Western in 1973 and received an Honorary Doctor of Science in 1999.
James Bertram Collip
Former Dean of Medicine at Western University from 1947-1961, the late Dr. James Bertram Collip had an outstanding career in medicine. Enrolling in college at 15, he held a PhD in Biochemistry by age 22. He eventually joined Drs. Frederick Banting and Charles Best in their search for a treatment for diabetes. His method of purifying insulin using a bovine pancreas allowed the drug to be used in clinical trials. Collip then went on to study hormones and become a pioneer in endocrine research. He is a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and is honoured at Western through numerous awards and facilities named in his honour. His leadership established a rich foundation for medical and health research at Western and in London.
The late Dr. Charles Drake is known world-wide for his surgical techniques on the repair of ruptured brain aneurysms. Throughout is storied career in neurosurgery, Drake served as Chief of Neurosurgery at London’s Victoria Hospital and University Hospital, and Chairman of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at Western University. He also played a key role in founding Robarts Research Institute and was honoured by the Western community with the creation of the Siebens-Drake Research Institute. He is a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Dr. Wesley Dunn was the founding Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at Western University. Throughout his career at Western, Dunn was active in the Canadian and Ontario Dental Association and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons, influencing education and practice across the country. An active Professor Emeritus, Dunn was previously awarded Western’s Alumni Association Award of merit and was conferred an honorary degree from Western in 2009 in recognition of remarkable contributions to the School and to the profession of Dentistry.
Dr. Peter Fowler is a pioneer in the treatment of sport-related injuries and one of the leading sport medicine experts in the world. Along with the late Dr. Jack Kennedy, he founded the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, one of the leading sport medicine organizations in North America. During his long career, Fowler has helped establish a sport medicine program in Qatar, spent time as the Director of Sport Medicine and Physician for Western’s athletic teams and, as Chief Medical Officer to Canadian National teams at Commonwealth and Olympic Games. He has been honoured with the Sport Medicine Council of Canada.
Dr. Patrick Gullane, a specialist in head and neck surgery, interned at Victoria Hospital in London after graduating from University College Galway in Ireland. Gullane is currently Otolaryngologist-in-Chief, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University Health Network in Toronto, the Wharton Chair in Head and Neck Surgery, Princess Margaret Hospital and Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Toronto. In 2009 he was invested into the Order of Canada in recognition of his long career as a renowned surgeon, mentor and authority in the management of patients with head and neck cancer.
Ramsay W. Gunton
Dr. Ramsay W. Gunton, an icon in London’s medical community was involved in the planning of both University Hospital and Robarts Research Institute at Western. He was among the first physicians in Canada to develop cardiac catheterization, served as head of Western’s Department of Medicine, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is a Member of the Order of Canada. He also has a research chair in Cardiology at Western named in his honour, as well as the Annual Gunton symposium in Cardiology at Robarts.
A Distinguished University Professor and professor in the Departments of Neurology and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Western, Dr. Vladimir Hachinski is a world-leading expert on stroke prevention, stroke risk factors, the relationship between stroke and Alzheimer’s disease and the connection between the heart and brain during a stroke. He also crystallized the concepts of ‘vascular cognitive impairment’ and ‘multi-infarct dementia’ and devised the simplest, method of diagnosing them - the Hachinski ischemic scale – now used worldwide. He has also published 15 books and contributed to more than 500 book chapters, scientific papers, editorials and other scholarly publications. In 2009, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada.
G. Edward Hall
From a medical research perspective, the late Dr. G. Edward Hall is known for his work studying the effects of high altitudes on pilots, work initiated from WWI and WWII aviation advances. This work, completed during his time with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, led to the development of oxygen equipment and protective clothing for pilots. However, he may be best known for his service and leadership to Western University, serving first as Dean of Medicine, then President of the University for 22 years. Under Hall’s leadership, the University expanded its research activity and academic programs significantly, bringing Western to the national and world stage.
M. Daria Haust
A Professor Emeritus in the Department of Pathology at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, Dr. Daria Haust is a revered and distinguished scientist, medical educator and an Officer of the Order of Canada. She is well known in the field of modern pathology and is recognized as one of the founders of the discipline of paediatric pathology. Her research on atherosclerosis has revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of this potentially life-threatening condition.
Dr. Carol Herbert served as Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry for 11 years and is currently a professor of Family Medicine. During her career, she has served on editorial boards of various medical journals, was the founding Head of the Division of Behavioural Medicine at the University of British Columbia and a founder of the UBC Institute of Health Promotion Research. She has also been an active advocate for women’s and children’s health. In Vancouver, she pushed for services for sexually abused children and founded and co-directed the Sexual Assault Service for Vancouver. She has received many awards and honours for her work including the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and the W. Victor Johnston Medal for lifetime contribution to the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Under Dr. Herbert’s leadership, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry expanded its education programs rapidly and increased its research funding significantly.
Kenneth C. Hobbs
The late Dr. Kenneth C. Hobbs was best known for his volunteer endeavors improving medical treatments in various countries including India, Hong Kong, Africa and Indonesia. He was on the initial steering committee for the Polio Plus Program, a program dedicated to eradicating polio in many parts of the world. He was also very involved in his local community, serving with the Rotary Club of Whitby, and as the Chief of Staff at the Whitby General Hospital. He is a Member of the Order of Canada.
The late Dr. Arthur Hudson is best known for his foundational role in our understanding of the pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and for setting the international standard of care for patients with ALS. With a prolific career of more than 40 years, Dr. Hudson made significant contributions to multiple sub-fields in the study of ALS, and contributed to several definitions of major neurological disorders. His work on dementia was crucial for solidifying the connection between dementia and ALS. Dr. Hudson established the first multi-disciplinary care clinic in Canada for ALS patients. He was also a founding member of the ALS Society of Canada in 1977. Dr. Hudson was a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. He had been practicing and teaching at University Hospital since 1969. In 2012 Dr. Hudson was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding work and leadership in the field. Outside of ALS research, Dr. Hudson’s work focused on myotonic dystrophy, cellular metabolism, pain, and perception. He also pursued graduate training in physics later in life. He authored more than 78 articles and essays during his career.
Dr. Chil-Yong Kang has been a molecular virologist and Professor of Virology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University since 1992. Dr. Kang is known for his extensive research in molecular virology. His research focuses on developing effective vaccines for human viral diseases. Dr. Kang’s recent experimental HIV vaccine was given approval to advance to Phase II testing. Dr. Kang was the Dean of Science at Western University from 1992 to 1999. Dr. Kang is the recipient of numerous local, national and international awards, including the Award of Excellence of the University of Ottawa in 1991, the Ho-Am Prize in Medicine in 1999, the Order of Korea in Science and Technology in 2002, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and the Scientist of the Year Award from the Korean Federation of Science and Technology in 2012. Dr. Kang was also elected as a Life-time Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada Academy of Science in 1993. Dr. Kang has published 135 research papers and 149 scientific proceedings and abstracts. He also holds nine international patents that cover 70 countries.
The late Dr. J.C. Kennedy was the first Professor and Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at Western University and co-founder of the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, one of the leading sport medicine organizations in North America. Under his initial direction, the department of Orthopedic Surgery thrived and is currently one of the premiere training programs in Canada. Recently, to honour Kennedy’s memory, 25 orthopedic surgeons at the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry donated $1.5 million to establish the J.C. Kennedy Chair in Orthopedic Surgery.
A leading cardiac surgeon, Dr. Allan Lansing received his Doctor of Medicine from Western University in 1953, later returning to the position of Assistant Professor of Surgery and Physiology. Lansing was one of the first in the world to research the use of TMR Heart Laser Surgery, a procedure now used on those who do not have the option of bypass surgery or angioplasty, or where all other treatment attempts have failed, and is considered a pioneer and expert on this procedure.
Dr. Robert Litchfield is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University and the Medical Director of the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic. Dr. Litchfield graduated from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1986 (with what degree). His research interests are primarily in disorders and athletic injuries of the shoulder and knee. As an active member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Society, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Herodicus Society, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine, Dr. Litchfield aids in the development of this field of medicine. Dr. Litchfield is also a member the Canadian Alpine Ski Team Physician Group where he assists Olympic skiers. He has published 47 articles.
The late Dr. Robert M. McFarlane is considered a pioneer of hand surgery and is a key figure in the history of Plastic Surgery in Canada. He was awarded the Hand Surgery Pioneer Award by the International Federation of Societies of Surgery of the Hand, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He served as President of the Canadian Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and is the only Canadian to serve as the President of the International Federation of Societies of Surgery of the Hand. He was also an accomplished football and track and field athlete, serving as Flag Bearer for the Canadian Olympic Team in the 1948 Summer Olympics, winning the first Lou Marsh Award for Canada’s best amateur athlete in 1950, and being recognized as Western’s Athlete of the Century.
Angus D. McLachlin
The late Dr. Angus D. McLachlin was a founder of the Southwestern Ontario Surgical Association and served as the Chief of Surgery at Victoria Hospital and as head of the Department of Surgery at Western University. Over his 30-year career, Dr. McLachlin trained many general surgeons and encouraged his residents to go into new surgical specialties being developed at Western. The McLachlin Professorship in Surgery at Victoria Hospital is named in his honour.
Former Dean of Medicine at Western from 1992-1999, Dr. Robert McMurtry is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Surgery and Orthopedic Consultant at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. Following his term as Dean at Western, he served as Special Advisor to the Romanow Commission on the future of health care in Canada, one of his many contributions at the federal and provincial level which has influenced the delivery of health care across the country. McMurtry also helped found and direct Canada’s first Trauma Unit, and is the founding Assistant Deputy Minister of the Population and Public Health Branch of Health Canada, was appointed to the Health Council of Canada and Chaired the Wait-Times and Accessibility Working Group. He is dedicated to creating an accessible medical system for all members of the Canadian public. In 2011, he was named a member of the Order of Canada.
Dr. Ian McWhinney is credited as one of the founding fathers of Family Medicine in Canada. Due to his work, family medicine was defined as a distinct field of medicine and even today, his approach to health care is used as the basic model when training physicians studying family medicine. He founded the Graduate Studies Program in Family Medicine at Western and established the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, as well as a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Currently President of the University of Toronto and former Dean of its Faculty of Medicine, Dr. David Naylor is internationally recognized as a leader in the fields of academe, health services research and evidence-based health and social policy. He received his residency training at Western in Internal Medicine and clinical Epidemiology. In addition to his leadership on the Canadian University landscape, Naylor has served as Chair of the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health, the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and has co-authored 300 scholarly publications in a diverse range of fields from social history, public policy, epidemiology, and health services research. He was an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.
Robert L. Noble
In 1947, the late Dr. Robert L. Noble was named Associate Director of the Collip Medical Research Laboratory at Western University. While in this position, Noble co-discovered vincaleukablastine, extracted from the leaves of periwinkle plants, had a significant inhibitory effect on white blood cell counts. Considered a major advance in chemotherapy treatment, vinblastine is still widely used today in the management of certain forms of cancer. Noble is a Member of the Order of Canada, a laureate of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and is the namesake behind the Robert L. Noble Prize, awarded yearly by the National Cancer Institute of Canada to individuals whose contributions lead to significant advancements in cancer research.
The late Dr. Earl Plunkett was a world renowned physician and authority on fertility. Over his career, Plunkett developed the first in vitro fertilization program in Canada, played a key role in developing the first birth control pill and made major breakthroughs in the field of endocrinology. During his career, he served as Chief of Gynecology at University Hospital, Chief of Gynecology and Research at Toronto General Hospital, and Chairman and Director of the Canadian Committee on Fertility Research.
Dr. Paul Polak is more than just a psychiatrist; he is an entrepreneur, author and philanthropist. After completing his MD in 1958 at Western, Polak practised psychiatry in Colorado, USA After a trip to Bangladesh, Polak was moved to establish International Development Enterprises, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating income opportunities for poor rural households in developing nations around the world. Polak has also authored a book, Out of Poverty, aimed at informing readers about poverty issues and how to help eradicate them. He received an honorary degree from Western in 2008.
Dr. Fred Possmayer is professor emeritus at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University. Possmayer has saved the lives of countless premature babies suffering from Respiratory Distress Syndrome due to his discovery of a safe way to extract, purify and sterilize surfactant from animals for use in humans. Due to this discovery, the number of premature babies who die of RDS has lowered dramatically. This process is now being used to treat adults suffering from acute lung injury. In 2009, Possmayer’s contributions were recognized by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) with Top Canadian Achievement in Health Research Award.
Dr. Mark Poznansky is known for his aptitude for running research institutes and businesses. He is the President and CEO of the Institute of Genomics Ontario. During his time as the Scientific Director of Robarts Research Institute from 1993 to 2007, he helped double scientific research, quadruple annual funding, and increase staff from 100 to more than 600. He also started seven related companies in biotechnology and medical devices. Holding faculty positions at Western University, the University of Alberta and Harvard University, and sitting on the boards of several research institutes and companies, Dr. Poznansky is skilled in teaching and management. Dr. Poznansky is also the author of several publications and the holder of several patents. He was inducted as a Member of the Order of Ontario in 2004, and as a Member if the Order of Canada in 2005.
The late Dr. Donald Rix was the founder and chair of MDS Metro Laboratory Services now known as LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services, one of the largest private medical laboratory services in Canada. Leveraging his success in business, Dr. Rix left a lasting legacy in both Ontario and British Columbia. His generous support led to the creation of the Dr. Don Rix Clinical Skills Learning Building at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry as well as the Dr. Don Rix Protein Identification Facility at the Siebens-Drake medical Research Institute. In British Columbia, Rix was involved with the Vancouver Board of Trade, which named The Rix Center in his honour. He is a member of the Order of British Columbia, the Order of Canada, and received the Canadian Medical Association’s F.N.G. Starr award for distinguished achievement.
Dr. Cecil Rorabeck is one of the world’s leading experts on hip- and knee-replacement surgery. He has served as Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at Western University and London Health Sciences Centre as well as serving as interim CEO and Scientific Director at the Robarts Research Institute during its consolidation with Western. Currently, Rorabeck is Chair of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. He is also well known in the community of London and internationally for his various volunteer and philanthropic efforts. He and his wife Linda established a research chair in Molecular Neuroscience and Vascular Biology at Robarts Research Institute in 2010.
James (Jim) Roth
The late Dr. James (Jim) Roth was a pioneer in wrist surgery, and helped make the Roth McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre at St. Joseph’s Health Care London a global leader in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with hand and upper limb conditions. Dr. Roth co-founded the Hand and Upper Limb Centre with Dr. Robert McFarlane to create a place for the multi-disciplinary care of patients with hand and upper limb conditions. The Centre is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and the largest in Canada. Dr. Roth is also renowned for his exemplary patient care. He has received numerous awards, including the R. Samuel McLaughlin Fellowship in 1981, and the Prix d’excellence award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2007. He also served on the Senate and Decanal Committee of Western University. Dr. Roth graduated from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in 1975. He was Site Chief of Surgery at St. Joseph’s Health Care London from 1999 to 2013, and Chief of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry from 2007 to 2013. Dr. Roth authored more than 120 articles and 20 book chapters.
Dr. James Rourke is currently Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. With a degree in Family Medicine, Rourke has dedicated his career to working in rural communities. For 25 years, he and his wife, Dr. Leslie Rourke had a practice in Goderich, Ontario which served as one of the first rural teaching sites for Western University. He was also the founding director of the Southwestern Ontario Rural Regional Medical Education, Research and Development Unit, which led to the development of the Southwestern Medical Education Network (SWOMEN). In 2008, Rourke’s contributions and leadership in rural medicine were recognized with an honorary degree from Western.
Earl S. Russell
The late Dr. Earl S. Russell graduated from Western University as part of the infamous Meds’ 50 class made up entirely of World War II veterans. After he received his medical degree, he served as a medical officer in the Korean War. His unit, the 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital inspired the television series MASH. He returned to Western and served as the Chief of Anesthesia at Victoria Hospital. Russell was an early proponent for the use of epidurals for the relief of labour pain. Thanks to his influence, London, Ontario was offering epidurals 15 years before the practice was widespread across Ontario. He was also known for his volunteerism and chaired the committee that brought Meals on Wheels to London seniors. Like his Meds ’50 classmates, Dr. Russell was a longtime supporter of Western and in 2002 contributed funds to establish the Earl Russell Chair in Pain Management at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.
Dr. James Silcox is well known at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Western University as an outstanding teacher and mentor. A former Vice-Dean of Education at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, he has been extensively involved in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology through his clinical practice, helped create the Southwestern Ontario Medical Education Network and has been awarded numerous times for his outstanding teaching ability, including receiving the prestigious 3M fellowship in 2008. He also served in various roles on the decanal team at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. He is a past recipient of the Dean’s Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 2010 he was awarded an honorary degree from Western.
The late Dr. Paul Sills completed his degree in dentistry from the University of Toronto and his graduate training in prosthodontics from the Walter Reed Dental Corps in Washington D.C. Upon his return to Canada, Sills became one of the first Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in the area of prosthodontics. He became a full-time faculty member at Western eventually gaining the title of Professor Emeritus. Sills was a much loved professor and mentor in the dental field and area of prosthodontics, earning numerous teaching awards including the 3M Canada Teaching Fellowship.
Ivan H. Smith
The late Dr. Ivan H. Smith was a pioneer and authority on the use of cobalt beam therapy in treating patients with cancer and was the first in the world to use cobalt radiation as a treatment at London’s Victoria Hospital. He served as Director of the London Cancer Clinic and the Chair of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at Western. Dr. Smith’s legacy lives on through the Ivan Smith Summer Studentships, offering medical students hands-on experience in oncology, and the Dr. Ivan Smith Alumni Award named in his honour because he was Western University Alumni Association's first president. This award remains Alumni Western's highest tribute, recognizing significant and sustained contributions to the Alumni Association, Western University and society.
Dr. Calvin Stiller’s work transformed the way organ transplantation is conducted. Because of his leadership of clinical trials with the drug cyclosporine, it became the drug of choice to combat tissue rejection after a transplant. His work also proved the drug could halt the progression of Type 1 Diabetes which proved Type 1 Diabetes is actually an immune disorder. Aside from his medical breakthroughs, Stiller has been instrumental in founding institutions and programs including the Robarts Research Institute, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, MaRs Discovery District, the Stiller Centre for Biotechnology, the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at University Hospital, LHSC, and The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, of which he is a laureate. He is also an outstanding crusader for organ donation. In 2010, he was recognized with the prestigious Gairdner-Wightman Award in recognition of his lifelong contributions to medical research.
The late Dr. Charles A. Thompson provided expert professional eye care, often at his own expense, to Canadians living in distant Arctic communities and communities in remote parts of Newfoundland, Labrador and Northern Ontario. A Member of the Order of Canada, he firmly believed that quality health care should be available to all Canadians.
A former resident and faculty member in general internal medicine at Western, Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull believes that everyone should have access to good health care. This belief led him to help establish Ottawa’s Inner City Health Project which offers compassionate clinical care to Ottawa’s homeless population. He currently serves as Medical Director of Ottawa Inner City Health, Chief of Staff at The Ottawa Hospital, and Past President of the Canadian Medical Association. He also served as the chair of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Deputy Chief of the Department of Medicine at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. In 2007 he was named to the Order of Canada.
Dr. William Wall, former Director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at University Hospital, joined the program shortly after its inception and has been an instrumental force behind national and international advancements in transplantation. In 1982, he performed the first successful liver transplant in Canada. The program he helped build also performed the world’s first successful liver-bowel transplant and Canada’s first heart and lung transplant, and first pediatric liver-bowel transplant. Wall was recognized for his medical contributions and advocacy for organ donation in 2009 with the Order of Canada.
John A. Ward
The late Dr. John A. Ward, a Member of the Order of Canada and a psychiatrist, was deeply passionate about mental health and used his expertise to address the issues of mental health services for lower income and minority groups in Canada, particularly those of First Nation, Inuit and Métis descent. He also authored two landmark papers on the suicide incidence on a native reserve.
O. Harold Warwick
The late Dr. Harold Warwick had a remarkable influence on medicine in Canada and was a pioneer in medical oncology. He simultaneously served as the executive director for the Canadian Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute of Canada. He was the first to carry out and publish a clinical trial of chemotherapeutic agent in adults with solid (non-blood and lymphatic) tumors. He eventually became the Dean of Medicine as well as the Vice-President of Health Sciences at Western. In 1993, the National Cancer Institute of Canada established the O. Harold Warwick prize for excellence in cancer research in his honour.
A Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Dr. Bernard Wolfe is a distinguished clinician scientist and professor emeritus from the Department of Medicine at Western and a committed educator. In addition to his significant research achievements representing important contributions to our understanding of vascular disease, Wolfe has supervised more than 30 PhD and graduate students and many medical and subspecialty residents in Endocrinology.
Profiles compiled with inforamation and grateful acknowledgement to Western University Archives, Western News, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, the Governor General's Office of Canada, and "A Century of Medicine at Western" by Dr. Murray L. Barr.
Photos/images courtesy of Western University Archives, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and Irma Coucill, Western News, Western Alumni Gazette and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.
Many photos were selected and reproduced with the tremendous support of Western University Archives and long-time campus photographer, Alan Noon.