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Obituary: E R (Ted) Clark

Members will be very sorry to learn of the death, on 1 July 2004, of Dr E R (Ted) Clark, former Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology.

Born in 1922, Dr Clark completed his secondary education at Newport High School and qualified professionally as a pharmacist at the Cardiff Technical College, graduating BPharm (Wales) in 1945. During this time, he developed his lifelong interest in pharmaceutical chemistry and, upon graduation, was awarded the prestigious Redwood Research Scholarship of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. This enabled him to read for a PhD on the chemistry of oestrogens in the University of London. Awarded his doctorate in 1948, Dr Clark was appointed in May of that year as Assistant Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at Leeds.

Promoted to Lecturer in 1950, he spent five years in this post before transferring, in 1955, to the Department of Pharmacology on his appointment as lecturer in pharmacological chemistry. Here, he taught, with outstanding success, on the analytical, synthetic and applied aspects of the chemistry of drugs; generations of students of pharmacy and pharmacology acknowledged and appreciated the range, quality and enthusiasm of his teaching. Dr Clark was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1960 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1964.

Dr Clarks doctoral studies provided the foundation for much of his future research. Supported by the Yorkshire Cancer Research Campaign, his work on oestrogenic and anti-oestrogenic substances, in particular the relation of chemical structure to biological activity, led to a number of important and valuable contributions to the scientific literature.

He also carried out research involving the synthesis and investigation of the biological activity of compounds active on the autonomous nervous system; and on tuberculostatic drugs and synthetic adrenocortical hormones. Perhaps Dr Clarks most enduring legacy, however, was his exceptional gift for nurturing young scientific talent.

He guided the studies of a large number of PhD students, many of whom have gone on to academic and scientific careers of the utmost distinction, heading Pharmacology units in several countries across the world. They include the internationally-renowned medical scientist, Professor Craig Jordan, who later became one of the colleagues with whom Dr Clark collaborated in the study of the mechanisms of hormone dependent tumours and the inhibition and reversal of their growth. Happily, Dr Clark was able to be a guest when the University conferred an Honorary Degree on Professor Jordan, in 2001.

Dr Clarks services were of inestimable value to his Department. A most helpful, kind and loyal colleague, he supplemented his academic responsibilities by cheerfully and effectively discharging a number of other offices. He was a very successful Acting Head of Department form 1979 to 1982.

Dr Clark embodied the principle of collegiality: he gave willingly and generously of his time to the University community as a whole, serving as an elected member of the Court, Council and Senate and bringing the benefits of his meticulous attention to detail to the work of a broad spread of committees. For many years, he represented the University on the Governing Body of Heckmondwike Grammar School and, not inappropriately for a sailing enthusiast, also served as a member of the Yorkshire Water Authority.

Having served his Department, Faculty and University with great distinction, Dr Clark retired in September 1984, after thirty six years service. In retirement, he held an Honorary Lectureship in Pharmacology until 1990.

Dr Clark, whose funeral has taken place, is survived by his wife, Kathleen, herself a former member of the University staff.

Published: 7 July 2004