University of Dundee University of Dundee
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23 March 2010

Sir James Black

a photo of Sir James Black

Sir James Black, Chancellor of the University from 1992 to 2006 and a Nobel Laureate, died on Sunday March 21st.

'Sir James was known to many of us here over many years and we will miss him greatly,' said Professor Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University.

'During his time as Chancellor he served the University with commitment, wisdom, grace and distinction. He was a great scientist, who took a keen interest in the development of our research here at Dundee, but he was also a great man to know.

'He inspired so many people from students to senior academics and industrialists, right up until the last few months of his life. I am personally proud and immensely fortunate to have known him for many years.'

Sir James was also an alumnus of the University, and was a much loved and respected member of the University community who remained in regular contact with friends and colleagues at the institution up until the time of his death.

Sir Jamesí invention of the beta blocker drug propranolol is considered one of the major breakthroughs in pharmacology in the 20th century and ultimately led to hundreds of thousands of lives being saved among patients suffering from heart disease.

He also made hugely significant discoveries in the development of drugs to treat heartburn and ulcers.

Sir James' contribution to science was recognised at the highest level in 1988 when he was awarded (jointly) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

In 2000 he was awarded the Order of Merit by HM The Queen - the highest honour which can be bestowed on an individual personally by The Queen.

In 2005 he was named the first recipient in the University's history of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science. In 2006 the University opened the Sir James Black Centre, a building which is home to hundreds of scientists carrying out interdisciplinary research in the College of Life Sciences.

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