McLennan, Hugh, 1927-

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McLennan, Hugh, 1927-

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Hugh McLennan (22 Oct. 1927-24 Dec. 2004) was born in Montreal, the first child of William Durie McLennan and Gyneth Maud Wanklyn. He attended Selwyn House School in Montreal and Trinity College School in Ontario before enrolling at McGill University where he completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours Chemistry) in 1947, a Master of Science (Biochemistry) in 1949, and a PhD (Neurophysiology) in 1951. McLennan married Hilda Jean Connell on 2 June 1949. Together they had two children, Catriona and Neil.
Following completion of his PhD, McLennan was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at University College at the University of London, where he was also an assistant lecturer from 1952 to 1953. McLennan soon returned to Canada and was awarded a research fellowship at the Montreal Neurological Institute from 1953 to 1955, before taking up a position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University from 1955 to 1957. McLennan moved to Vancouver and joined the Department of Physiology at the University of British Columbia in September 1957 He remained at UBC until his retirement in November 1992. While at UBC, McLennan’s research involved studies of the physiology and pharmacology of excitatory amino acid transmitters in the central nervous system. He published over 145 papers and a book entitled “Synaptic Transmission” in 1963.
McLennan served on the UBC senate and was the chair or a member of the board of the Faculty Club on several occasions. He also served with distinction on many Medical Research Council (MRC) of Canada peer review committees and was a member of the MRC Council from 1971 to 1977. McLennan was the Canadian delegate to the general council of the International Union of Physiological Societies (IUPS) and served as the chair of the scientific program committee when UBC’s Department of Physiology hosted the IUPS meeting in Vancouver in 1986. McLennan also served as secretary of the Canadian Physiological Society from 1965 to 1969, as president from 1972 to 1973, and as archivist for the last 10 years before his retirement. He was also an editor of “Neuropharmacology and Experimental Brain Research,” was a member of the Physiological Society in the UK, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in in 1971.
McLennan was a founding member of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and of the Clan MacLennan Association, serving as lieutenant for Western Canada. He was also president of the Western Division of the Canadian Ski Association from 1971 to 1974 and national vice-president from 1972 to 1975. Among his volunteer efforts, McLennan wrote a pamphlet on the feeding of garden birds for the Vancouver Zoological Society and was a reader for the Charles Crane Library at UBC. He became an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion during the 1990s, serving as president of the Kerrisdale Legion and on the scholarship selection committee. Some of McLennan’s hobbies included the translation of Welsh poetry and golf. He died in Vancouver.


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