Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“He worked tirelessly to unite French and English speaking physicians.”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
1994 Inductee

Dr. John Browne

Born: 
April 13, 1904, London, England
Died: 
January 21, 1984
Education: 
MD, PhD - McGill University
Dr. John Symonds Lyon Browne began a rewarding career in medical research after completing his medical degree and his PhD at McGill University. He was successful in isolating oestrogenic hormones from placental tissue, and continued to work in steroid research until 1955, when he was made Chairman of the McGill Department of Investigative Medicine. He was also named Director of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.

His lifetime interest in the field of endocrinology began while studying under the famed endocrinologist, Dr. J.B. Collip. Following completion of his PhD, Browne was awarded a travelling fellowship from the Royal Society of Canada, allowing him to work in Germany, Austria and England. After a year studying abroad, Browne returned to McGill where he began a career as a researcher and professor. 

Teaching became one of Browne’s passions and he was considered a leader in this area, revered by both his students and colleagues. During his tenure at McGill, the University created a diploma program for physicians who were interested in earning Master’s and doctoral degrees in order to become clinical scientists. 

In 1964, Browne helped establish the "Conseil du recherche medical du Quebec", which supported health research in Quebec and facilitated Quebec's contribution to international health research initiatives. Although he received great acclaim for his work in endocrinology, Browne is also recognized for his tireless efforts to unite the English and French speaking physicians of Quebec.