Donations to support the Nickerson Prize in Pharmacology can be sent to: McGill University Department of Pharmacology Room 1325 3655 Drummond Street Montreal, P.Q. H3G 1Y6 attn. Helene Duplessis
He obtained his A.B. from Linfield College in 1939, his Sc.M. from Brown University in 1941, his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1944 and his M.D. from the University of Utah in 1950. Since his first article in 1943 he has authored or edited more than 250 scientific publications perhaps most notably The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics more commonly referred to as "Goodman & Gilman".
He came to Canada in 1954, where at the University of Manitoba he built the study of Pharmacology from a single borrowed room in the Dept. of Physiology to an internationally renowned department with an entire building dedicated to the discipline. He chaired this Department until 1967 when he joined McGill University in Montreal as chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics a position he held until 1975 and where, in 1982, he was honoured as Professor Emeritus.
In addition to these appointments, he was a visiting professor of the Swedish Medical Research Council in 1955, The Medical Schools of Cuba in 1969, University of California in 1971 and the University of Florida in 1979, among others. In 1975 he was appointed Norman Bethune Professor in the People's Republic of China.
Dr. Nickerson was awarded the prestigious John Able award for Pharmacological Research by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 1949, an honourary membership in the Czechoslovak Medical Association in 1965, the Claude Bernard Medal of the Université de Montréal in 1966, the Honourary D.Sc. by the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1974, the Queen Elizabeth II 25th Anniversary Medal in 1977, the Upjohn Award of the Pharmacological Society of Canada in 1979 and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1973.
During his career he held positions on, among others, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the Manitoba Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian National Drug Advisory Committee, the Medical Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Committee for the International Union of Physiological Sciences, the Canadian Heart Foundation, consultant to the Nobel Prize Committee, the United States National Academy of Sciences, the National Board of Medical Examiners, President of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Canadian Ministry of Health and Welfare and the International Union of Physiological Sciences.
He died quietly at his home on the evening of March 12, 1998 at the age of 81. Husband of the late Pearl Wilkin, he is survived by his three children, Marki, Mike and Steve, six granddaughters and the more than two dozen Departments of Pharmacology around the world chaired by graduates of the programs he taught.