McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Two professors known for focus on the individual join Community of Distinction

Published: November 4, 2011
Frederick E. Hargreave
Frederick E. Hargreave, professor emeritus of medicine

Two former faculty members, one an internationally renowned respirologist and the other a global leader in the development of medical ethics, have been honoured by the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Frederick Hargreave, professor emeritus of medicine, and John Thomas, professor emeritus of philosophy, brought distinction and recognition to McMaster University through their innovative scholarship and outstanding research and are being inducted into the Faculty’s Community of Distinction.

Family and friends of the professors, both deceased, joined university and department faculty and staff at a reception Friday, Nov. 4 at the Community of Distinction display in the Ewart Angus Centre lobby of the Health Sciences Centre.  A citation and portrait of each of the inductees has been added to the exhibit.

The Community of Distinction honours those who have made distinguished contributions in scholarship, science, the delivery of health care and leadership in medical and health sciences education and research.

"Both of these men were completely absorbed in the situation for each patient. That keen focus on the ultimate importance of the individual has had a remarkable impact in how health-care professionals think about the issues in both areas of respirology and ethics, not just here in Canada but around the world," said John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

This year’s inductees are:

John Thomas
John Thomas, professor emeritus of philosophy

Frederick E. Hargreave, MD

Frederick E. Hargreave, known to everyone as Freddy, was a world-renowned respirologist who helped change the way asthma is diagnosed and treated through research driven by the clinical needs of his patients. For more than four decades after joining McMaster in 1969, the brilliant clinical scientist developed tests to measure airway responsiveness and inflammation that became the gold standard. A founder of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, he was a superb mentor who trained many of the world’s current leaders in asthma research. He became professor emeritus in 2004, but remained active in research. He was also held in the highest regard by his patients.

John Thomas, PhD

John Thomas pioneered the development of health care ethics in the Faculty of Health Sciences and he was instrumental in establishing the discipline at both the national and international levels. The philosophy professor was involved with the medical and nursing schools for more than three decades and he was officially an associate member of the Faculty from 1985 until his retirement in 1991. Thomas created undergraduate courses in health ethics, served on ethics committees and profoundly impacted clinicians, policy-makers and patients through his scholarship, consultations and teaching. A quiet, wise, gentle leader, Thomas brought out the best in his colleagues and students.

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