Friday, March 11, 2011

Amazing story

I was blog hopping this morning - visiting some of my usual stops and I get to Maria's blog  to read her post for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday - it's the letter V.  Her topic "Vinca"!!

Go and read this really touched my heart, but more than that, I just wanted to weep, because it was my dear friend Dr. Charles Beer who isolated the chemical in the periwinkle plant that created the anti-cancer drug.

So for Maria and her family - here's some photos for you of Dr. Charles Beer.  He was a truly wonderful man and I know he's smiling down on us today!
Born: November 18, 1915, Leigh, Dorset, England
Died: June 15, 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia
Education: Ph.D - Oxford University, 1948

Dr. Charles Thomas Beer received his D. Phil. from Oxford University in 1948, his studies focused on organic chemistry. In 1951, he moved to North America, accepting research fellowships and positions at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York (1951- 1954), the University of Western Ontario (1954-55, 1957-60), McGill-Montreal General Hospital Research Institute (1955-56) and the University of British Columbia (1960-81). He has been a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia since 1967 and was Professor Emeritus at UBC and Honorary Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Cancer Endocrinology, British Columbia Cancer Agency.

Dr. Noble had been working with the periwinkle plant based on earlier suggestions that it might be useful in diabetes. Dr. Beer arrived in Dr. Noble's laboratory at UWO in September 1954 and his biochemical expertise led to the isolation and purification of the chemical in the "Vinca" periwinkle plant.

The process received a patent in the name of C.T. Beer, J.H. Cutts (a doctoral student co-worker) and R.L. Noble and was administered by the University in cooperation with the Eli Lilly Co. of Indianapolis.
Dr. Beer's distinguished research and teaching career continued in the field of biochemistry with further work with vinblastine and related biochemical cancer research.
Dr. Beer was inducted into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 1997 and received the Order of Canada for his cancer research work in 2003.


Jo said...

Alphabet-Thursday ... makes the world much smaller, forms new friendships and is just a wonderful place to hang ... i'm glad you found this post Izzy

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh my goodness! Thank you sooo much for letting me know about your dear friend!!! I just came home from work and went to check my blog to see if anyone had stopped to visit. It blessed me so much to read your post. What a wonderful, amazing man! How awesome it would have been to have been able to tell him "Thank you"...(those words are simple but are filled with the deepest heartfelt emotions).

Wow! I say amazing! We thank the Lord for those like Dr. Beer that have the heart, mind and passion for research.

Like Jo said...I'm glad you found my post! I will edit my post and link back to yours :o) And if you do not mind, I would like to link to your post from my sidebar too.

Blessings & Aloha!
Our son is visiting his friend in Atlanta, but when I talk to him, I will be sure to let him know about you and Dr. Beer!

ScrappeeDiane said...

Great story and connection.

Kathy said...

Life is short and precious and it seems we realize every day how more more we are connected to one another in some way. What a lovely story and I know what a dear friend Charles was to you. He obviously continues to touch many lives. A wonderful story Izzy, thanks for sharing.