Charles A. Barraclough
Dr. Charles A. Barraclough, a retired physiologist and internationally renowned neuroendocrinologist from the University of Maryland School of Medicine died April 19, 2009 of cancer at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. He was a Campus Hills resident in Towson, for over 46 years and was 82.
Dr Barraclough’s seminal scientific observations involved studies on the brain and how neonatal male sex hormone exposure (testosterone) permanently alters the brain control of reproductive processes in both males and females.
Born in Vineland, NJ and raised in Hammonton, NJ, he was a 1944 graduate of Hammonton High School. Thereafter, he attended St Joseph’ University in Philadelphia, PA where he received his BS degree in Biology in l947. He also was an accomplished pianist and the next two years was involved in a music career before entering Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ where he obtained his Master Degree in l952 and his Ph.D. Degree in l953 in endocrinology.
He then joined the Department of Anatomy, UCLA Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr Charles H. Sawyer and in l954 he was appointed as Assistant Professor. It was during these years that he began his important studies on sexual differentiation of the brain.
In l961 he received a Special Research Fellowship to continue his studies at the University of Cambridge England with Drs Barry Cross and Martha Vogt. In l962 he was appointed as Associate Professor in Physiology within the School of Medicine, University of Maryland and Director of the Animal facility within the School of Medicine. In l965 was elevated to full Professor within this Department of Physiology. From l974-93 he also was Director of the Reproductive Biology Training Program. From l969-70 he was appointed as a Special Research Fellow to continue his research within the Department of Pharmacology, University of Milan, Italy. In 1985 he was instrumental in establishing the Center for Studies in Reproduction within the medical school and was appointed Director of this Center. The purpose of the Center was to capitalize on promising research already under way in reproductive biology within several departments within the school. In l985 because of his numerous contributions to the School of Medicine, he was selected to present the Chancellor’s Colloquium to the faculty of the medical school. Dr Barraclough retired in l993 and was then appointed as Professor Emeritus within the School of Medicine.
Throughout his career both as a teacher and researcher, he continued to study how neurotransmitters within the brain regulate hypothalamic neuropeptides to alter pituitary gland secretions and ultimately the function of the ovary to promote ovulation. He also observed that estrogen and progesterone feedback within the brain to regulate neurotransmitter function such that at midcycle, ovulation occurs. Throughout his career he published 136 original peer reviewed papers and contributed 28 chapters in scientific books. He also was responsible for the advanced education of 46 graduate (MS, Ph.D.) and postdoctoral fellows from many countries of the world. He also contributed to the education of over 5000 medical students in both Gross Anatomy and medical physiology.
Because of his expertise, he was appointed as a member of the Reproductive Study Section, Division of Research Grants, National Institute of Health from 1967-69 and again from 1970-74. He was chairman of this Study Section from 1969-70.
Dr Barraclough was a member and served on the editorial boards of Endocrinology, Soc Exptl Biol.and Medicine, American Physiological Society and also was a member of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, and the Society of Neuroscience.
Because of his important research contributions in the field of reproduction, in l984 he was awarded the “Research Award” by the Society for the Study of Reproduction and in l990 he received the highest award bestowed by this society, the Carl Hartman Award. It is presented in recognition of an outstanding career of research and scholarly activities in the field of reproductive biology. Also, because of his contributions to the advanced training of Hungarian scientists, in l990 Dr Barraclough was honored by being inducted into the Hungarian Endocrine Society.
Dr Barraclough was an avid golfer and a long time member of the Country Club of Maryland. He also enjoyed gardening and music.
He is survived by his wife, Eleanor Barraclough, two daughters, Janet McCarthy and Patricia Weisselberg and four grandchildren, Carrie McCarthy, Bill McCarthy, Robin Weisselberg and Megan Weisselberg.