N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 16, 1986
Discipline / contribution: neurology ; neurosurgery
Citation / biographical information:
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you DR. WILLIAM FEINDEL.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
William Feindel was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, a descendant of settlers from Hanover and Alsace who founded the township of Lunenberg. Upon graduation from Acadia University, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Merton College, Oxford where he read Honours Physiology. After receiving an M.Sc. degree in Physiology in 1942 he carried out wartime research for the Naval Committee of the National Research Council of Canada, developing with Wilder Penfield advanced treatment for war injuries of the brain and nerves. In 1945 he received his M.D., C.M. degree from McGill University.
Returning to Oxford, Dr. Feindel completed a Ph.D. in brain anatomy, studied neurosurgery at Oxford and neurology at the National Hospital for neurological diseases. Queen's Square, London. After working with Drs. Wilder Penfield and William Cone at the Montreal Neurological Institute he became the first Professor of Neurosurgery at the new medical college at Saskatoon in 1955.
In 1959 he returned to McGill University to become the first William Cone Professor of Neurosurgery and, in 1962, neurosurgeon-in-chief of the Montreal Neurological Institute.
He has had a life-long interest in brain imaging. At Saskatoon he cooperated in developing the first automatic isotope brain scanner. Under his directorship the MNI in 1973 was the first Canadian hospital to install a CT scanner. Later his research team developed the first positron emission tomography scanner.
Other research has centered on the causes and surgical treatment of focal epilepsy, the early detection of brain tumor and strokes, and the circulation of the brain. He has served as President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons and is a consultant to the World Health Organization.
Dr. Feindet has published over 250 clinical and research papers on neurology, neurosurgery, medical history and biography. He received a D.Sc. from Acadia University in 1964 and another D.Sc. from McGill in 1984. He edited the Tercentenary edition of Thomas Willis' The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves, published by McGill University Press in 1965.
Mr. Chancellor, I present to you Dr. William Feindel and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Ian McDonald
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