Raymond Ernest Counsell, BSc’53

Raymond CounsellRaymond E. Counsell, PhD, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2016, in Bonita Springs, FL, with his wife Liz by his side. Ray was born in Vancouver in 1930. At the age of 10, he was hired as a delivery boy for a local pharmacy. Upon graduation from high school, the minister of his church recommended that he attend university.

Ray enrolled at UBC and, in 1953, received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, along with the Horner Gold Medal as the top student in his class. He subsequently attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and graduated with his PhD in medicinal chemistry and organic chemistry. In 1957, he married Elizabeth Short and the couple moved to Evanston, IL, where Ray became a senior research chemist at pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle.

In 1963 Ray was recruited to the University of Michigan to establish a new program in radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Over the course of the next 40 years, Professor Counsell was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and oversaw the training of many doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. Moreover, his laboratory gave rise to numerous agents subsequently used for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Among his numerous awards, Dr. Counsell received a Fogarty Fellowship, the Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and the Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award of the University of Minnesota.

Ray was a wonderful role model, had a great sense of humor, and loved his family dearly. In addition to his wife of 58 years, he is survived by three children: Steve Counsell (Carol), Ron Counsell (Shelly), and Cathy Martin (Mike); six grandchildren and two great‑grandchildren; nephew David Counsell (Wendy) and Liz’s niece Stephanie Allin (Maurice).