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In Memoriam

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2009 - Winter


Franklin H. Epstein, M.D. ’47, HS ’49, William Applebaum Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, considered one of the giants of metabolism and nephrology, died in Brookline, Mass., on November 5. He was 84 and actively engaged in biomedical research, teaching and clinical care until early October. During his residency Epstein came under the influence of John P. Peters, M.D., regarded by many as the leading American physician/scientist of that time. Epstein eventually succeeded Peters as chief of the Division of Metabolism at Yale. After a fellowship at Boston University Medical School in cardiology and a period of time in the United States Army, Epstein returned to the Division of Metabolism and the Department of Medicine. Epstein was one of the first recipients of the Francis Gilman Blake Award for outstanding teaching in the biomedical sciences. In 1972 he moved to head the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory and the Harvard Medical Unit of Boston City Hospital. One year later he joined the Beth Israel Hospital as chair and physician-in-chief of its Department of Medicine. He remained at Beth Israel, now the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, until his death. Epstein was also a longstanding editor of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine and of The New England Journal of Medicine. Epstein received many national and international honors for his accomplishments in nephrology.

Roland H. Ingram Jr., M.D. ’60, HS ’65, died on July 7 in Atlanta, Ga. He was 73. Born in Birmingham, Ala., Ingram attended the University of Alabama before coming to the School of Medicine. After his internship at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, he spent two years in Japan with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission before returning to Yale to complete his training in internal medicine. Following a fellowship in pulmonary diseases at Columbia, Ingram joined the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine, where he received an award as the outstanding clinical teacher from the Class of 1969. He became professor and director of the pulmonary division at Emory before returning to Brigham Hospital in Boston. He also joined the Harvard faculty, teaching in both the medical school and the school of public health. In 1992 Ingram returned to Emory as chief of internal medicine and director of the pulmonary division for all Emory hospitals.

Frank M. Isbell, M.P.H. ’63, died on October 6 in Cooperstown, N.Y. He was 81. Born in Roanoke, Va., Isbell served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He earned the Bronze Star Medal for his accomplishments at the onset of the Tet offensive. After returning from Vietnam, Isbell was assigned to the Department of Defense, Surgeon General’s Office at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He retired from the Air Force in 1970. After serving as an administrator at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Isbell moved to Oneonta, N.Y., in 1973 to become president of A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital.

Michael W. Lau, M.D. ’45, died on August 12 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Lau, a urologist, surgeon and former Navy captain, grew up in Bronxville, N.Y. When his father died in 1931, Lau, then 11, helped his mother raise his young sister. As a teenager he washed dishes on a Great Lakes freighter. After graduating from Washington and Lee University in 1941, Lau joined the U.S. Navy before attending the School of Medicine. Upon graduation he joined the Navy Reserve Medical Corps and visited the Far East as the ship’s surgeon on the USS Columbus. After his marriage in 1952 he practiced urology in White Plains, N.Y., but soon moved to Beverly Hills. Lau was on the medical faculty at the University of Southern California.

José J. Miranda, M.P.H., M.D. ’02, died on September 29 in Fayetteville, N.C., where he was stationed as a major in the U.S. Army. He was 33. Born in Puerto Rico, Miranda graduated from the University of Kansas with distinction in 1997. The same year Miranda entered the School of Medicine on the United States Army Health Professions Scholarship Program. He completed his degree in public health at Harvard in 2001. After graduating from the School of Medicine, Miranda completed an internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in 2006.

George E. Palade, M.D., a Nobel laureate who served on the Yale faculty and founded the Section of Cell Biology, died on October 7 in San Diego of complications of Parkinson disease. He was 95. Palade earned his Nobel in 1974 for his discoveries about the inner workings of cells, findings that helped launch the field of cell biology. He was a pioneer in the use of electron microscopy to discover and elucidate the functions of such tiny structures as the ribosome. Born in Jassy, Romania, Palade received his medical degree from the University of Bucharest in 1940. He was a member of the faculty of that school until 1946, when he came to the United States for postdoctoral studies. Palade came to Yale in 1973, and held the Sterling Professorship of Cell Biology from 1975 to 1983, when the section became the Department of Cell Biology upon his retirement as chair. Palade was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1974, he shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Albert Claude, M.D., and Christian de Duve, M.D. Palade left Yale in 1990 for the University of California, San Diego, as professor of medicine in residence and dean for scientific affairs.

Rose Papac, M.D., a longtime faculty member of the Section of Medical Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine and one of the early female pioneers in medical oncology, died on May 10 of cancer. She was 80. Born in Montesano, Wash., Papac attended Reed College in Portland, Ore., and studied chemistry at Seattle University, where she graduated summa cum laude. In 1949 she was one of the first women to be admitted to St. Louis University Medical School, and she became the first woman to complete an internship in the department of medicine there. In 1954 she moved to Stanford University to complete her internal medicine residency. It was there that she developed her interest in and passion for oncology; following her residency, she was the first American to take an oncology fellowship at the Chester Beatty Institute in London. She continued her fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In 1963, she joined the Department of Medicine at Yale, where she stayed until her retirement in 2006. Papac was one of the first women to receive tenure in the School of Medicine and the first woman to be awarded tenure in the Department of Medicine. She played a pivotal role in developing contemporary concepts of cancer chemotherapy.

Marc G. Pypaert, Ph.D., director of Yale’s Electron Microscopy Core Facility and a research scientist in the Department of Cell Biology, died at Connecticut Hospice on July 28 of brain cancer. He was 45. Pypaert had a diverse and prolific scientific career, developing a high level of expertise in membrane cell biology and, in particular, in electron microscopy of a variety of cells, especially those undergoing mitosis. He was an enthusiastic and creative photographer who exhibited his work at local galleries in the City-Wide Open Studios program. Born in Ath, Belgium, Pypaert received his bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1985 from the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix in Namur. In 1991, he received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Dundee in Scotland. Following postdoctoral work in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Belgium, Pypaert was recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in quantitative immunoelectron microscopy. He was recruited by Yale in 1999. He expanded the scope and technical capability of the Electron Microscopy Core Facility, a component of the Yale Center for Cellular and Molecular Imaging.

J. Murdoch Ritchie, Ph.D., Eugene Higgins Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology, died on July 10 in Hamden, Conn., after a long illness. He was 83. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Ritchie graduated with a degree in math and physics from the University of Aberdeen in 1944. During World War II, he served on a team that was instrumental in the development of radar. After the war, Ritchie earned another bachelor’s degree, in physiology, from University College London (UCL) in 1949, a Ph.D. in biophysics in 1952, and a D.Sc. in biophysics in 1960. While at UCL, he met and married his wife, Brenda, a physiologist. In the early 1950s Ritchie joined Alfred Gilman’s department of pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 1968 he came to Yale as chair of pharmacology. Ritchie made several major contributions to improved understanding of the conduction of impulses in peripheral nerves, in particular the distribution of sodium and potassium channels in both myelinated and unmyelinated fibers. This research led to a better understanding of the disease process involved in multiple sclerosis.

Daniel Rowe, M.D., of Hamden, Conn., professor emeritus of pediatrics and of epidemiology and public health and founding director of the Yale Health Plan, died on July 8. Rowe was a 1948 graduate of Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and served in the Army during World War II and the Navy during the Korean conflict. Rowe came to the School of Medicine as the director of pediatric outpatient services in 1966. While director he developed the domestic abuse response team program for the detection and reporting of child abuse, which is still the model for child protection in the United States. He was the recipient of the Francis Gilman Blake Award for excellence in teaching in 1968. Rowe was named a full professor of pediatrics in 1970, the year he also became director of Yale University Health Services. The Yale Health Plan was the first university HMO in the country.

Julian A. Sachs, M.D. ’46, died on September 1, in the emergency room at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, where he had worked for 25 years. He was 86. Sachs was one of the hospital’s original emergency room physicians in 1968. He retired in 1992. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving as chief of radiology at Fort Totten General Hospital in New York City and as a transport surgeon on a Victory ship.

Gaston Leonard Schmir, Ph.D. ’58, professor emeritus of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, died on July 2 of Parkinson disease. He was 75. Schmir was born in Metz, France, in 1933 and spent his childhood in hiding during World War II as his father sought safe havens for his Jewish family. He arrived in the United States in 1946 and joined the Yale biochemistry faculty in 1960. His research emphasis was in the area of enzyme mechanisms and related physical-organic chemistry.

Cornell Scott, M.P.H. ’68, chief executive officer of the Hill Health Corporation in New Haven, died on August 25. He was 73. Scott came to the Hill Health Center in 1968 as director of training and education and became executive director in 1972. His 40-year tenure was marked by the steady development of sites, services and programs for the low-income population of the New Haven area. He received the National Association of Community Health Centers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 for his “lifelong dedication and exceptional service to the American people.”

Florence S. Wald, R.N. ’41, M.N., M.S. ’56, dean emerita of the Yale School of Nursing and founder of hospice in the United States, died on November 8 at her home in Branford, Conn. She was 91. Born Florence Schorske in New York City in 1917, Wald graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1938. After World War II, she became an instructor in the school of nursing of Rutgers University. After joining the faculty of the School of Nursing in 1956, Wald served as the school’s fourth dean from 1959 to 1966. She married Henry Wald, an engineer, in 1959. She is credited with bringing the hospice movement to the United States from England and establishing the first American hospice in Branford in 1971. A world-renowned leader in nursing research, Wald was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Bridgeport in 1967, an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Mount Holyoke in 1978 and an honorary doctor of medical sciences degree from Yale in 1995.

Send obituary notices to Claire M. Bessinger, Yale Medicine Publications, 1 Church Street, Suite 300, New Haven, CT 06510, or via e-mail to