Canadian Medical Association

Hamilton; University of Toronto, 1960; pediatrics; officer, Order of Canada. Died Sept. 23, 2021, aged 85. Survived by his wife, Diane Gower Dent, 3 children and 4 grandchildren. “After medical school, Peter completed pediatric training at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and then completed a year of pathology training at the Ladywood Road Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, England. Later, Peter accepted a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in immunology. This allowed him to study in Minneapolis from 1964-68 with Dr. Robert Good, a founder of immunology. Returning to Canada in 1968, Peter joined McMaster’s medical school as a clinical scientist, with a research focus in cancer immunology and pediatric rheumatology. The research team was notable for its international impact in what was then an undeveloped field. Here, Peter created Canada’s first multidisciplinary program in immunology and virology. Always pushing the boundaries to further his interest in research, Peter took a 1977-78 sabbatical year at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Research. It was a truly unique experience for the whole family. During Peter’s term as chair of McMaster’s Department of Pediatrics from 1980-90, he founded what is now known as the McMaster Children’s Hospital in 1988, which led to his founding of Hamilton’s Ronald McDonald House for families whose sick children were patients in the hospital. In March 1988, Peter and the chairs of pediatrics across Canada were invited to China to provide advice on the care of children. In 2008 Peter was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction, and in 2015 into the McMaster University Faculty of Health Science’s Community of Distinction. Most notably, in 2017 Peter was named a member of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours. This award acknowledged his 5 decades as a devoted clinician and as a pioneer in immunology, and especially for his vision in founding the McMaster Children’s Hospital and Hamilton’s Ronald McDonald House. Peter officially retired from the practice of medicine in 2020 after holding several senior hospital appointments. He became a professor emeritus at McMaster University in 1996.”

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