McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Two leaders join Faculty's Community of Distinction

Published: November 8, 2013
Alan McComas
Alan McComas, first head of neurology at McMaster's medical school
Barbara Cooper
Barbara Cooper, first dean of the School of Rehabilitation Science

The founder of McMaster's School of Rehabilitation Science and an internationally renowned neurophysiologist were inducted into the Faculty's Community of Distinction in a ceremony Nov. 8.

Barbara Cooper was the first dean of the School of Rehabilitation Science and Alan McComas grew an international reputation for his pioneering work in neurophysiology. Both had significant impact on the development of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

They were joined by colleagues, family and friends for the celebration in the Ewart Angus Centre where their plaques have been added to the wall of tribute. The Community of Distinction honours those who have made distinguished contributions in scholarship and research which have brought recognition and raised the profile of McMaster University and the Faculty.


This year's inductees are:

Barbara Cooper, PhD

Barbara Cooper was the first associate dean and director of the School of Rehabilitation Sciences from 1991 to 1996. Her leadership and vision were seminal to the early development of the school and provided a strong foundation for its current excellence and international stature. A McMaster faculty member from 1981 until retirement as a professor emeritus in 2000, she was a champion of research. She took national roles in rehabilitation program development and established a northern studies program to promote an affinity for rural practice. An accomplished visual artist, she was also an expert of colour use in environmental design.

Alan McComas, MD

Alan McComas was an award-winning physician when he was recruited to McMaster's medical school in 1971 as its first head of neurology. The neurophysiologist was a proud ambassador for the university as he became recognized internationally for his research on the neurophysiology of muscle disease. His method for the calculation of a number of viable motor units in muscle is considered the gold standard for this measurement. A captivating presenter, he was renowned as a mentor and extensively published. He was the chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences from 1988 to 1993 before he retired as professor emeritus in 1996.


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