Dr. Charles Barraclough, Researcher, Teacher

April 27, 2009|By Andrea K. Walker

Dr. Charles A. Barraclough, a retired physiologist and neuroendocrinologist from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, died of cancer April 19 at St. Joseph Medical Center.

The Towson resident, who lived in the Campus Hills community for more than 46 years, was 82.

Born in Vineland, N.J., Dr. Barraclough was raised in Hammonton, N.J. He graduated from Hammonton High School and then earned a degree in biology in 1947 from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. After two years pursuing a music career, Barraclough earned master's and doctorate degrees in endocrinology from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

He then joined the University of California-Los Angeles Medical School as a postdoctorate fellow before becoming an assistant professor. At UCLA he began studying sexual differentiation in the brain. His studies examined how testosterone exposure permanently alters the brain control of reproductive processes in both men and women.

Dr. Barraclough also studied the issue at the University of Cambridge in England in 1961. He joined the department of physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1962.

Dr. Barraclough achieved a number of accomplishments at the University of Maryland, including establishing the Center for Studies in Reproduction in 1985. Throughout his career, Dr. Barraclough studied how neurotransmitters within the brain regulate pituitary gland secretions and, ultimately, ovulation.

Dr. Barraclough published 136 peer-reviewed papers and contributed 28 chapters in scientific books. His work is still cited today.

"He was held in high regarded for his study, and people today still respect his research," said his daughter Patricia Weisselberg of Mill Valley, Calif. "His work is still being used."

In a 1993 letter about Dr. Barraclough, Mordecai P. Blaustein of the University of Maryland School of Medicine wrote: "Dr. Barraclough is unquestionably a pioneer and leader in the field of reproductive/neuroendocrinology."

In his spare time, Dr. Barraclough liked to entertain his neighbors and go to Baltimore Colts games, his daughter said. He and friends would sing old big band songs together, she said.

Dr. Barraclough retired in 1993 and was named professor emeritus at the medical school.

He was an avid golfer and enjoyed gardening and music. He was also a longtime member of the Country Club of Maryland.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife, the former Eleanor Pauline Kolakowski; another daughter, Janet McCarthy of Levittown, Pa.; and four grandchildren.

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