I joined the Lord Mayor, Councillor Pat Convery, who made a Special Presentation, the Katherine Brick Award for Young Songwriter of the Year, in the presence of Ian Brick and his son Michael. I knew Katherine and Ian Brick from my student days at Queen’s, when Ian became President of the Student’s Union in 1967.Katherine and Ian Brick were major players in the Atlantic Bridges project to build cultural links between Northern Ireland and the American South, and I helped initiate it with them in 1994.
Born in Rosebery Street, East Belfast, Ian received all ofhis formal education in Northern Ireland.He graduated from Queens University Belfast in 1968 with a Ph.D. in pharmacology.His research work was in the field of beta blockers and cardiology.He was part of a team that published the first paper in this field. He married Katherine (Mc Sorley) of Omagh ,County Tyrone on December 30th that year.
After 10 years in the U. K. with ICI Pharmaceuticals, Ian returned to Ireland as Managing Director of Cullen & Davidson, a small company specializing in retail pharmaceuticals.In 1980 Ian and two partners founded the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology in Dublin. The company went public in 1984 on NASDAQ and this necessitated the emigration of the Brick family to the USA. The company was engaged in worldwide clinical trials of newly discovered pharmaceutical compounds particularly in the HIV research field. Ian and Katherine moved to Nashville in 1987.n 1990 Ian founded Pharmaceutical Laboratory Services in Baltimore, Maryland, which was subsequently purchased byhismajor competitor in 1994.
Katherine along with Ian initiated a Sister Cities link between Belfast, and Nashville, Tennessee which has resulted in the annual Belfast/Nashville Songwriters Festival. She encouraged tourism, cultural and economic ties between the two cities.
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