Robert B. Aird

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Robert Burns Aird (5 November 1903 – 28 January 2000), an American educator and physician, founded the department of neurology at the University of California at San Francisco.[1] In addition to conducting his own research (Flynn Aird syndrome bears his name), Aird developed the department into a leading academic center for study of the brain sciences, drawing future Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner as a resident late during Aird's tenure. Aird also wrote a history of modern neurology and was a successful real estate speculator in the San Francisco area.

Aird's father, Dr. John Aird, founded the Aird Clinic in Provo, Utah. The facility was the only hospital in the Provo area for many years. His grandfather and grandmother, William Aird and Elizabeth McLean, were Scots immigrants and the family was proud of its heritage, thus the name "Robert Burns" Aird, after the famous Scots poet. His uncle, Henry McLean Aird was a prominent educator in Utah.

A lifelong musician, Aird was president of the Cornell University Glee Club as an undergraduate, and during his tenure as neurology chairman at UCSF wrote a musical about the life of Joshua A. Norton (ca. 1815-1880), the mentally ill self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States and Mexico.

Aird was educated at Cornell University, Harvard Medical School, and Deep Springs College.

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