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Obituary: Professor James Boyer Brown
Date:11/3/2009

MELBOURNE, Australia, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The scientific and medical community mourns the loss of our esteemed colleague and good friend Emeritus Professor James Boyer Brown AM, MSc (NZ), PhD (Edin), MSc (Melb), DSc (Edin), FRANZCOG (Ad Eundem), Life Member Fertility Society of Australia, Life Member Endocrine Society of Australia, who passed away on Saturday 31st October 2009, aged 90.

Born 7 October 1919 in New Zealand and educated at Auckland University College (MSc - First Class Honours in chemistry), James Brown was manpowered to the laboratories at the Auckland Hospital early in the Second World War. He rationalised the sterilisation procedures at the hospital, qualified in bacteriology, haematology and histology and built up the biochemistry laboratory from some simple backroom tests to the type of facility that exists today. He also set up the blood bank, the monitoring of blood electrolytes and the production of sterile solutions for peritoneal lavage (the precursor of renal dialysis).

During the war, chemicals that were required for the new tests were often in short supply so he developed methods for synthesising or regenerating them, using techniques that often required innovative use of materials available. One example of his innovative skills was the production of ampoules of blood-typed sera for the Pacific forces using a home-made freezer. The ability to innovate was a skill that he used to great advantage right throughout his life and he was constantly searching for better ways of doing things.

After the war in 1947, he developed an interest in endocrinology and reproduction and started a small animal breeding surgery, set up bioassays for urinary gonadotrophins and oestrogen (the female hormone) and concluded that the most important requirement in human reproduction was the development of a highly accurate method for timing ovulation in women, similar to the phenomenon of oestrus in animals.
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SOURCE Ovulation Method Research and Reference Centre of Australia Ltd
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