Cleghorn, Robert A.

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Cleghorn, Robert A.

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Robert Allan Cleghorn was born on 6 October 1904, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Allen Mackenzie and Edna Theresa (Gartshore) Cleghorn. He attended public and high schools in London, Ontario, from 1914-1921, and the University of Toronto Schools in Toronto (1921-1922). Dr. Cleghorn received his M.D. from the University of Toronto Medical School in 1928 and completed a one-year junior rotating internship at Toronto General Hospital in 1929. From 1929 to 1932 Dr. Cleghorn worked as an assistant in physiology in the laboratory of Nobel laureate J.J.R. Macleod at Marischal College in Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1932 he received his Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.) in physiology under Professor Macleod. His doctoral dissertation concerned the relationship of the adrenal cortex to sex function and the maintenance of life. During 1932-1933 he attended clinics and lectures and carried out physiological research in England, Hungary, and the Netherlands. From 1933 to 1943 Dr. Cleghorn was a Junior Demonstrator with the University of Toronto Department of Medicine and an Assistant Attending Physician at Toronto General Hospital. He taught physical examination to medical students, conducted clinical research on Addison’s disease, conducted laboratory research at the Banting Institute on adrenal insufficiency in animals, and, beginning in 1940, on traumatic shock. From 1943 to 1945 Dr. Cleghorn served with an army mobile shock and wound infection unit in Italy and northwest Europe. After being discharged from the army in 1945, Dr. Cleghorn returned, for a short time, to his position teaching clinical medicine at the University of Toronto. He also earned a Certification in Internal Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1945. In 1946, Dr. Cleghorn moved to Montréal to establish the Laboratory for Experimental Therapeutics at the Allan Memorial Institute (AMI). Staff members of the AMI constituted the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University and held cross-appointments with the Royal Victoria Hospital. The laboratory’s research focused on the hypothalamus, autonomic nervous system, and the adrenals. Dr. Cleghorn served as Director of the laboratory until 1964. During this period he held the following positions: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (McGill University, 1946-1949); Lecturer in Medicine (McGill University, 1946-1970); Associate Psychiatrist (Royal Victoria Hospital, 1947-1951); Associate Professor of Psychiatry (McGill University, 1949-1960); Psychiatrist (Royal Victoria Hospital, 1951-1964); Professor of Psychiatry (McGill University, 1960-1971); Chairman and Director of Department of Psychiatry (McGill University, 1964-1970); and Psychiatrist in Chief (Royal Victoria Hospital, 1964-1970). Dr. Cleghorn earned a Certification in Psychiatry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Québec in 1950. From 1952 to 1956 he trained in psychoanalysis in Montréal and was a candidate at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute in 1953-1954. While in Boston, Dr. Cleghorn was a Research Associate in Psychiatry at Harvard University. In 1964 Dr. Cleghorn took over, from Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, the position of Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the AMI. He held this position until 1970 when he retired from McGill. He served as Scientific Director of Montréal’s Institut Albert-Prevost in 1970-1971, and as Consultant to the AMI from 1971-1978. In 1978 he was a Special Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. From 1978 to 1992, Dr. Cleghorn worked as a consultant psychiatrist at the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto. Dr. Cleghorn’s research interests have been in the following areas: physiological and clinical aspects of the adrenal cortex; clinical endocrinology; adrenal insufficiency and the autonomic nervous system; shock and blood substitutes; stress in psychoneurotics; the relationships between endocrinology and psychiatry; psychosomatic medicine; psychoanalysis; psychopharmacology; depression and hysteria; and the history of psychiatry. In addition to the previously mentioned professional positions, Dr. Cleghorn held positions with many scientific societies as well as advisory and editorial boards including: Canadian Medical Association; Physiological Society (England); Endocrine Society; Canadian Physiological Society; American Society for Clinical Investigation; American Physiological Society; American Psychosomatic Society (past President); New York Academy of Science; American Association for the Advancement of Science; Royal College of Psychiatrists (Founding Fellow, 1971); American Psychiatric Association (Life Fellow, 1979); Canadian Psychiatric Association (Life Member, 1970); American Heart Association; Canadian Psychoanalytic Society (Life Member, 1979); and the Academy of Medicine, Toronto. Dr. Cleghorn died on 25 March 1995 and was predeceased by his two wives, Sheena Marnoch and Elizabeth Newman as well as his son Dr. Jock Cleghorn. He was survived by his children Mhairi Santiago, Ailie Cleghorn and daughter-in-law Janet as well as several grandchildren, his sister Catherine McHardy-Smith, and niece Ann Sinclair.


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