Donald Layne

April 5, 1931 - November 21, 2012

Layne, Donald S., Ph.D., FRSC In Prince Edward County on Thursday, November 21, 2012. Don is survived by his loving wife Edith, and his children, Graham, Kathleen and Geoffrey; and grandsons, Ivan and Peter. Born in Canada in 1931 of Barbadian parents, Don grew up in Barbados, and came, at age 18, to Macdonald College, McGill University, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Agricultural Chemistry under Professor R.H. Common, whose daughter Edith he later married. After work in Edinburgh, he was recruited by Gregory Pincus to join the team at the Worcester Foundation in Massachusetts developing the steroid contraceptive pill, and he was the first to examine much of the biochemistry involved in this exciting and life changing work. In 1966 the family returned to Canada, where he became Chair of Biochemistry and then Vice Dean of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, while continuing his research. He then moved to Toronto as a Vice-President of Connaught Laboratories, and finally as Vice President, Research of the Toronto General and Western Hospitals. In Edinburgh, Worcester and Ottawa, Don made several important contributions to the knowledge of steroid hormone metabolism. Throughout his career he served as chair or member of national, university and hospital committees too numerous to mention, and was a valued teacher and mentor to countless students and scientists. His citation from the Royal Society of Canada reads in part, “Donald Layne has given generously of his professional talents to his colleagues and his country.” A Celebration of Don's Life will be held at the St. James Cathedral Centre, 65 Church St. (building north of the Cathedral), Toronto, on Saturday, January 19th at noon. Gifts in memory of Don may be made to The Sunnybrook Foundation, Odette Cancer Centre (2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto ON M4N 3M5; 416-480-4483), to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (403 Main Street East, Picton, ON K0K 2T0; 613-476-1008), or to a charity of your choice.