Hugh P.J. Bennett, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Medicine
Metabolic Diseases and Complications Program
Centre for Translational Biology
In Memoriam: Remembering a superb peptide chemist, exceptional collaborator and defender of student welfare
It is with profound sadness that we share news of the passing of a dear colleague on the morning of June 29, 2021, after a period of hospitalization. Hugh Bennett made countless contributions to the lives and work of colleagues at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the MUHC, and McGill University. A superb peptide chemist, his expertise led to the discovery of a number of bioactive peptides, including progranulin, which he co-discovered with Andrew Bateman, PhD, in the Endocrine Laboratory at the former Royal Victoria Hospital, now part of the MUHC. A senior scientist in the Metabolic Disorders and Complications Program at the RI-MUHC, he shared his expertise generously and made important collaborative contributions to the successes of many colleagues, both in and outside of the McGill network. He was founding director of the Sheldon Biotechnology Centre, one of the first examples of a core facility at McGill. This facility provided researchers across Montreal and beyond with high quality peptide synthesis and sequencing, as well as oligonucleotides, when these were novel reagents. Director of the Division of Experimental Medicine at McGill for many years, he broadly shared his enthusiasm for graduate education and was a strong defender of the needs and welfare of students.
Many of Hugh Bennett’s colleagues are glad to have taken part in a virtual celebration of his retirement in 2020, but we regret that it was not possible to fulfill the promise of having a “real” party for him when COVID restrictions are fully lifted.
We offer sincerest condolences to his extended family.
—Dr. Simon Wing, leader of the MeDiC Program (RI-MUHC), and Dr. George Fantus, director, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, MUHC