Obituary of Robert J. McIsaac
Robert James McIsaac, 95, university professor, musician and WW II veteran
Robert James McIsaac, a retired university professor, died September 9, 2018, in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital after a short period of declining health. He was 95 years old. Born in Brooklyn, NY, his family moved to Ithaca, NY, after his father’s death in 1929. Robert served in the US Army from 1943 to 1946, as a surgical technician with the 340 Field Artillery Battalion, 89th Infantry Division in the European Theater in WW II. He participated in the liberation of the concentration camp at Ohrdruf, Germany, which was the first concentration camp liberated by the US Army. After the War ended, he served as a Health Officer, providing medical treatment to Polish and Russian civilians who had been interned during the war in a slave labor camp located near Chemnitz, East Germany. Robert received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Buffalo. Robert taught in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1954 to 1985. In 1966, he was awarded a National Institutes of Health Fellowship to the Institute of Pharmacology, University of Lund, Sweden. He was appointed Professor In 1968 and was the Director of the Graduate Training Program in Pharmacology and Project Director for a National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Training Grant. He was appointed Assistant Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies in 1983, and Assistant Vice-Provost for Research and Graduate Studies in 1985. Robert was awarded numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and published 49 scientific articles, and 5 chapters in a Pharmacology Text Book. His research interests were in the metabolism of basic drugs and synaptic transmission in autonomic neurons and at the neuromuscular junction. He was a member of the American Association for Advancement of Science, American Society for Experimental Pharmacology, International Biopharmacology Society, Society for Neurosciences, and the New York Academy of Sciences. He retired in 1988. After retirement, Robert played Bass Violin in the Niagara Falls Symphony Orchestra, traveled to many places in the world, and served for 5 years on the Amherst Conservation Advisory Board to the Amherst Town Council. Robert married Carol Langner in 1976. Robert and Carol celebrated their 42nd anniversary this year. He is loved and survived by his wife, Carol McIsaac; children, James McIsaac, Laurie McIsaac Heidi Prescott, Gregory McIsaac, Heather Fish (recently deceased); grandchildren, Jennifer Amelia McIsaac, Rowan Church; and great grandchildren, Finnoula and Emerald McIsaac O’Dowd.