Ross University Blog

Pharmacology Professor Julienne M. Turnbull, PhD to Retire after 21 Years at RUSM

April 05, 2014

“I felt the time had come to seek new pastures,” said Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) pharmacology professor Julienne M. Turnbull, PhD about her decision to retire last December. For the time being, however, she remains as a visiting professor, “to help out.”

Dr. Turnbull, who joined the faculty of RUSM in 1993, described a conversation she had with the institution’s founder. “I spoke to Dr. Ross and he said he wants to give an opportunity to people who have a real passion to study medicine,” she related. “I was drawn to that. The depth of motivation of the students impressed me. I’ve enjoyed my time teaching at Ross.”

RUSM’s Senior Associate Dean, Wm. Lynn Weaver, MD, FACS, commented, “I first encountered Dr. Turnbull not long after I had arrived on island. My initial thoughts were I have just met the most joyous, likable, enthusiastic, optimistic whirlwind I have ever seen. She is that rare person who lives as she believes, and strives to help all who come into her orbit. People like her are rare, teachers like her are even rarer. I, like our students, will miss her positive attitude and I wish her the best for she has given her best.”

After 21 years of living on the island, Dr. Turnbull said, “I have a lot to thank Dominica for.” She is an avid birdwatcher, a member of the Anglican Church, and very involved with the Northern District Home for the Aged, on whose board she sits. She noted that the medical school faculty and some student groups give their time to visit and help the elderly residents, three of whom are centenarians. 

Her two sons and new grandson live in London, where Dr. Turnbull has a “tiny, 170 year-old terraced house” that she calls home. “It has the original roof of Welsh slate, with the beautiful tiles that are falling off. The bricks are lovely, dark red. There are fireplaces in every room.” She added that, “The inside has been modernized.”

Dr. Turnbull earned a PhD in biochemistry at the University of London and pursued a career in research and medical education.  She has taught in London, New York, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During vacations she visited other countries, bird-watching around the world.

“I shall miss all sorts of things,” she said about leaving Dominica. One of the things from which she benefited most, she said, is the people’s “celebratory attitude.”

Tags: Faculty , Dominica

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