Notable People

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Ian Boyd

Born 23 May 1927.
Died 14 September 1987.

An award winning physiologist who pioneered the use of electronic methods to study the muscle spindle and the heart.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Alumnus, Professor
GU Degrees: MB ChB, 1950; PhD, 1954;

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The following achievement is associated with Ian Boyd:

Breaking new ground in the understanding of the structure of muscle fibres
The first description that muscle spindles contain two types of specialized muscle fibres was written by Ian Boyd. This led directly to our modern understanding of how these sensors function in muscles.


The following honour is associated with this person:


Ian Alexander Boyd was a graduate of the University who was the first Buchanan Professor of Physiology, 1966 to 1987.

Boyd was the son of William Ernest Boyd, the radiologist and assistant physician at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital. He graduated from the University MB, ChB in 1950 and then studied Physics and Mathematics at the University of London, graduating BSc. He was Honorary Research Assistant in Biophysics at University College, London, and was awarded a PhD in Physiology by the University of Glasgow in 1954 and a DSc in Physiology by the University of London in 1963. He joined the University staff in 1955 and played an important role in planning the alterations to the West Medical Building and undertook work at the Australian National University and at the University of Utah before taking up Buchanan Chair.

In the words of his obituarist, "A gifted experimenter", his greatest achievement was in using electronic methods to study the muscle spindle and the heart. For this he was awarded the Zworykin Prize for Medical Electonics in 1962.