Lives of the fellows

Henry George Dunn

b.18 April 1917 d.9 December 2008
MB BChir Cantab(1942) MRCS LRCP(1942) MRCP(1948) DCH(1950) FRCP(1973) FRCPC

Henry George Dunn was professor of pediatric medicine at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He was born as Heinz Georg Danziger in Leipzig, Germany, into a Jewish family. His father, Felix Salo Danziger, was a physician; his mother, Else Danziger née Alexander, was the daughter of a merchant. In 1935 he left Germany with his brother to go to England and attended Badingham College boys’ boarding school in Leatherhead, Surrey. He went on to gain a place at Trinity College, Cambridge, and continued his clinical studies at the London Hospital.

He was a house physician at the Cornelia and East Dorset Hospital, Poole, from 1942 to 1943, and was then an assistant medical officer and subsequently an acting senior resident physician at St Giles’ Hospital, London. From 1944 to 1946 he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, as a lieutenant and then major.

Following his demobilisation, he trained in paediatrics in the children’s department at the London Hospital and, from 1949, at the Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street. From 1952 to 1953 he was an assistant in pediatric pathology at the Babies’ Hospital in New York.

In 1954 he joined his parents and brother in Vancouver, Canada, and continued his training at Vancouver General Hospital. In 1956 he became an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and subsequently an associate professor and then professor (in 1968). In 1959 he went to Boston to train in paediatric neurology. He returned to Vancouver as the first paediatric neurologist in British Columbia.

He particularly specialised in developmental disorders. He was the director a large nationally-funded study of children with low birth weights, extending over nearly 20 years. In 1976 he was one of the first to document the effects of maternal smoking on infant development.

He was a founding member of the Canadian Association of Child Neurologists (of which he was the first president) and the Canadian League Against Epilepsy. From 1966 to 1967 he held a McLaughlin travelling fellowship as a visiting consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital and as an honorary clinical assistant at the National Hospital, Queen Square. He taught in Uganda in 1984 and in China in 1991.

He received many awards, including the Ross award of the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Coady memorial medal from the British Columbia Medical Association and a career achievement award from the research division of British Columbia Children’s Hospital.

Outside medicine he enjoyed photography, music, tennis and skiing.

He was survived by his wife Grace Erica Morley Dunn née Clarke, whom he married in 1954, one son, Tony, and a daughter, Jenny.

RCP editor

[BCMJ Vol 51, No 2, March 2009, p.79 – accessed 6 May 2015; The Vancouver Sun – accessed 6 May 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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