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Stenlake, John Bedford, 1919-2006, Professor of Pharmacy, Royal College of Science and Technology, Glasgow
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John Stenlake was educated at Ealing Grammar School and served an apprenticeship in pharmacy before attending the College of the Pharmaceutical Company. He qualified as a pharmaceutical chemist in 1941. After war service in the Royal Air Force, he was appointed to the teaching staff at the University of London. During this time he graduated BSc in chemistry. He was awarded a PhD from London University in 1950 and a DSc in 1960 for work in the field of medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry.
In 1952 he was appointed senior lecturer in pharmaceutical chemistry at the Royal College of Science and Technology, Glasgow (later the University of Strathclyde). In 1961 he was appointed professor of pharmacy at the College, a post he held until 1982.
Professor Stenlake was awarded the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Harrison memorial medal in 1974 and the Charter gold medal in 1990, recognising, among other achievements, his contribution to the design and synthesis of atracurium besylate. This drug was the first short acting and readily reversible skeletal muscle relaxant for use in surgery. It was developed by a research team led by Professor Stenlake in the pharmacy department of the University of Strathclyde in collaboration with the Wellcome Foundation. The royalties from the drug brought in considerable revenue for the University, supporting the institution’s academic development in the 1980s. Stenlake also won the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Hanbury Memorial Medal in 2001.
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ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).
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Created by Kimberly Sommerville, July 2011.
Biographical detail added by Rachael Jones, January 2020.
-‘Pharmaceutical Journal’, Vol. 186, No. 5087, 29 April 1961, p. 371 (biographical note)
-‘Pharmaceutical Journal’, Vol. 267, No 7167, 29 September 2001, p. 430-441
- ‘Pharmaceutical Journal’, Vol. 276, 01 April 2006, p. 516 (obituary)
-Butt, John, ‘John Anderson’s legacy: the University of Strathclyde and its antecedents, 1976-1996’, 1996, p157, 206.