Alan MacKenzie passed away on the morning of Friday March 2, 2018. Born in Ilford, Essex, England on July 14th 1932. He earned Bachelor’s degrees and in 1957, his PhD in Chemistry, from Imperial College at The University of London.
Alan grew up a lover of the outdoors and was a Sea Scout in the King’s Scouts. He was an avid hiker, bicycler, canoer, and sailor. He came to Madison Wisconsin as a graduate student and joined the Wisconsin Hoofers, an outdoor recreation organization. In 1958, while at the UW he met Janet Marie and in 1959 they were married.
In 1959 Dr. MacKenzie began work at the American Foundation for Biological Research. His studies centered on the physics and chemistry of the freezing and freeze-drying processes undergone by biological tissues. With the closing of “The Foundation” he held a brief appointment as a research associate at the High Voltage Electron Microscope Laboratory, at the University of Wisconsin.
In 1976, Dr. MacKenzie became an Associate Professor in the newly formed Center for Bioengineering and Biostructure at the University of Washington in Seattle. Until 2002 at the University of Washington, and for the last fifteen years at his lab off campus, he brought his basic understanding to pharmaceutical, microbiological, histological, diagnostic, and medical applications. He was one of only a very few people who really understood and could explain what happens when water freezes.
Dr. MacKenzie published more than 60 papers on freeze-drying and presented more than 120 papers from the platform at national and international meetings. Dr. MacKenzie concentrated his interests on practical and theoretical aspects of the formulation of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products for freezing and freeze-drying and for their delivery.
He was a past president of the Society for Cryobiology and retained memberships in the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, the Microscopy Society of America, and the Society for Cryobiology.
Alan brought his family to Mercer Island in 1977 and is survived by two sons David and Graham, daughter Sarah, ex-wife Janet, sister Jean, her three daughters and their children, and many cousins. A memorial service celebrating Alan’s life will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Mercer Island, Washington, on Saturday May 5, at 1:00 pm.