About Dr. John P. Aitchison
Dr. John (Jack) Patterson Aitchison passed away on April 6, 1983. Specializing in Chemistry, Jack graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts. Soon after he worked as a chemist for Canada Packers and then an analyst for the Vancouver City Laboratory, where he was developing a breath analyzer to measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in the human blood stream. Jack’s passion for chemistry eventually led him to pursue graduate studies in California. In 1965 he relocated to California, where he enrolled in Pharmacology at the University of California, Berkeley. It was at Berkley where he met an influential professor who convinced him to transfer to University of California Medical School, San Francisco in 1969 to join a newly developed PhD program in Toxicology. In 1969 he joined the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, where he established the Section of Toxicology in the Department of Clinical Pathology.
At OHSU, Jack was an associate professor, conducted research on drug poisoning, and ran the clinical laboratory at the campus hospital until his passing in 1983. He was elected by the Oregon governor to the Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances in 1970 and was certified by the California Association of Toxicology as a member in good standing in 1974. Jack enjoyed a brief taste of fame after he was interviewed by CNN for a story on tainted Tylenol.
While an accomplished scientist, Jack will be most remembered by his loved ones as a devout family man. Whether at church or after school programs, he dedicated his time to making cherished memories with his wife Betty-Jean and children Bradley and Danae.
The Impact of Your Support
To honour Jack’s life and achievements, family and friends are looking to establish the Dr. John P. Aitchison Memorial Award in Chemistry at UBC. The fund will provide much-needed financial assistance to third- and fourth-year chemistry students who have demonstrated mentorship to second-year chemistry students. Final decisions on award distribution will be made in consultation with the family.
List of Donors