Dr. Eric James
October 15, 1929 – May 19, 2013
North Saanich, BC – Dr. Eric James passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at Saanich Peninsula Hospital with his beloved wife and three loving children at his side. Known for his keen intellect, adventurous spirit, and passion for photography and music; Eric made the Gulf Islands and Saanich Peninsula his home after retiring in 1993 as CEO and President of Cangene Corporation of Toronto.
Eric was born Oct 15th 1929 in Eastbourne, England; son of William and Vera James. Eric’s father was a builder and president of the British Builder’s Society. Eric completed his secondary education at Tonbridge School in Tonbridge, Kent, England and obtained a BSc in Chemistry from Kings College University of Durham, England. After working for many years in England, Canada and the United States, he returned to academia, graduating in 1971 with a PhD in Biochemistry from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and then completed a fellowship in Biochemistry at Harvard Medical School. Eric spent several years working in academia at the University of South Carolina and University of Kentucky before returning in 1980 to Canada. Eric and his wife Barbara were married in 1983 in Toronto and enjoyed many happy years together. In 1984 Eric began the entrepreneurial stage of his life as co-founder of Cangene, the first Canadian genetic engineering company. Cangene became recognized for development of NASBA technology, a unique and important method for DNA amplification and, today, Cangene is a manufacturer of many biopharmaceuticals.
Eric is survived by his wife Barbara, of North Saanich, British Columbia; his son, Dr. Philip M. James and his wife, Marcy, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Philip’s daughter Tatjana A. James; his daughter, Dr. Christine E. LeBlanc, her husband Jim and their four children, Michelle, Jim (his wife Sarah), Elizabeth, and Joseph of Columbia, South Carolina; and his daughter, Dr. Vivien E. James, her husband Lt. Col. Dave Dye and their children, David and Amanda, of Niceville, Florida.