John Rick Turner


John Rick Turner, 64, fondly known as Rod or Rick, passed away at his home in Panama City Beach, Florida, on Saturday, October 30, 2021.

He was born in Stourbridge, England (UK)on July 12, 1957 to Margaret Astbury Turner and the late Joseph Raymond Turner. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his uncle Mike and aunt Janet Astbury and his mother-in-law Kathleen Harrison Thompson.

Rick is survived by his beloved wife Karen Harrison Turner and his mother Margaret Astbury Turner and many cousins in the UK with whom he kept in regular contact, his brother-in-law Roger Harrison and wife Dianna and their son Brandon and many friends and colleagues. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

He enjoyed several generations of pampered cats which added immense joy and inspiration to his life.

Rick graduated with a BSc (Honours) in Psychology in 1979 from University of Sheffield (UK), earned a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from Sheffield Hallam University (UK) in 1980, obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from University of Birmingham (UK) in 1984 based on his dissertation entitled “Heart Rate Responses to Psychological Stress”. In 2016, he was awarded the higher doctoral degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) in Cardiovascular Pharmaceutical Medicine from University of Sheffield (UK) based on his application dossier detailing his scholarly activities from 1985-2015.

Rick held an academic position at University of Birmingham (UK) - postdoctoral Fellowship-Psychology. Inspired by academic opportunities in the US, he emigrated in 1987 to hold positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as postdoctoral Fellowship & Research Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, University of California, Berkley as Research Scholar, School of Public Health, University of Tennessee, Memphis as Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Preventative Medicine and Medical College of Georgia as Associate Professor of Pediatrics until 1996. In 2005 he returned to academia at Campbell University (NC) as Associate Professor of Clinical Research, Drug Safety Scholar, and Chairman, Department of Clinical Research until 2009 and held the position of Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences since 2015.

He was employed at GlaxoSmithKline from 2003-2005 as a Clinical Submission Scientist, at Quintiles (now IQVIA) from 2009-2018 as a Senior Scientific Director, Translational Cardiovascular Safety, Scientific Director, Clinical Communications (Corporate Communications division) and Chief Scientific Advisor, Cardiac Safety Services and at DRT Strategies Inc. from 2018-2020 as an Expert Consultant/Federal Contractor assigned to the FDA. Rick was President of his Turner Consulting & Communications company since 1991 in which he wrote and edited scientific/medical publications. Most recently he started working with Chenega Corporation as a Federal Contractor assigned to the FDA.

J. Rick Turner, PhD, DSc was an experimental research scientist, clinical trialist, author, editor, educator, and communicator. He spent the first part of his professional career in the field of cardiovascular behavioral medicine, detailing the individual differences apparent in cardiovascular responses to behavioral and psychological stressors, including genetic influences upon them. He received two international awards for his research and was coeditor of the 2013 Springer volume Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, the definitive work in this area at that time. Over many years he enjoyed collaborating on various Cardiac Safety Research Consortium projects aimed at improving global patient safety and was a former Editor-in-Chief of the DIA’s peer-reviewed Drug Information Journal. His vast experience spanned twenty years in academia, eleven years in the pharmaceutical industry, and over thirty years of scientific/medical writing and publications.

He was the author and coauthor of over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as articles in professional journals and author, coauthor and editor of over 15 books.

Awards and honors include the British Medical Research Council Doctoral Scholarship (1981-1984), Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychophysiology from the Society for Psychophysiological Research (1988), Early Career Award for Contributions to Psychosomatic Medicine from the American Psychosomatic Society (1993) and conferred the Honor of Fellow by the Society of Behavioral Medicine (1999), American Society of Hypertension (2016), now American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology (2016), European Society of Cardiology (2017) and American College of Clinical Pharmacology (2017).

A Celebration of Life Memorial service will be scheduled in the US and UK at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, British Heart Foundation or to

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