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In Memoriam

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2001 - Spring


Louis V. Avioli, M.D. ’57, the Sidney M. Shoenberg Professor of Medicine, professor of orthopaedic surgery and director of the Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine, died of cancer at his home on Nov. 21. He was 68. Avioli graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University. After receiving his medical degree at Yale he trained at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National Institutes of Health. In 1961 he joined the faculty of the New Jersey College of Medicine and in 1966 began his career at Washington University as an assistant professor of medicine. Avioli served on the NASA Skylab Project, The Endocrine Society Council and the board of the Paget’s Disease Foundation and as a consultant to the Public Health Services of China, Finland, Australia and Canada. In 1979 he founded the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, and in 1994 he founded the Association of Osteobiology.

James F. Ferguson Jr., M.D. ’40, died July 3. He was 61. Born in New Haven, Ferguson graduated from Yale College in 1936 before entering the School of Medicine. After his graduation he served his internship in New Jersey, then returned to Connecticut in 1949 to be a family doctor in Wallingford. He was in practice there until his retirement in 1978. During nearly three decades of practice, along with his partner Robert Boyd, M.D., Ferguson also served as the Wallingford school doctor. He was a member of the Connecticut Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He was also a member and past president of the Wallingford Rotary Club and was named Rotarian of the Year in 1969 and a Paul Harris Fellow in 1980.

Louis S. Goodman, M.D., a former Yale faculty member, co-author of one of medicine’s leading pharmacology texts and discoverer of the first effective anticancer chemotherapy, died Nov. 19 in Salt Lake City. He was 94. Goodman also pioneered the use of an obscure drug from the Amazon named curare. He founded and edited pharmacology journals, was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, consulted for pharmaceutical firms and served on committees of the National Institutes of Health. It was during World War II that Goodman, working at Yale with his friend and colleague Alfred Gilman, Ph.D., investigated chemical warfare agents for the war effort. They found that nitrogen mustard produced abnormally low levels of white blood cells in those exposed to it. He successfully applied this finding to cancer therapy, and chemotherapy joined radiation and surgery as standard treatments. Goodman graduated from Reed College in 1928, received his medical degree from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1932 and interned at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He came to New Haven to study and ultimately teach pharmacology, becoming an assistant professor at Yale in 1937. In response to the outmoded textbooks of the time, he and Gilman wrote a text for their students in which they correlated pharmacology with other medical sciences. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, now in its ninth edition, remains a standard clinical reference. In 1943 Goodman left Yale for the University of Vermont. A year later he became the founding chair of the department of pharmacology at the University of Utah. He retired as chair in 1971.

Dorothy M. Horstmann, M.D., the first woman appointed a full professor at the School of Medicine and a scientist who helped make polio vaccines possible, died Jan. 11 in New Haven. She was 89. Horstmann’s research into polio countered the prevailing belief that the virus attacked the nervous system directly. She showed that the virus reached the brain by way of the blood. Horstmann’s team detected the polio virus in the blood of infected monkeys and chimpanzees before signs of paralysis appeared. They found that by the time paralysis developed, antibodies had eliminated the polio virus from the blood. Horstmann’s work contributed to the licensing of an oral polio vaccine developed by Albert Sabin, M.D., from live, weakened virus. Horstmann was born in Spokane, Wash., on July 2, 1911. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and her medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco. In 1942, she moved to Yale as a Commonwealth Fund fellow to perform research with John R. Paul, M.D. The following year, she joined the Yale polio-myelitis unit and helped battle a polio epidemic in New Haven. At midcareer Horstmann became a pediatrician, and in 1961 was the first woman at the medical school named to the John Rodman Paul Professorship, an endowed chair in epidemiology and pediatrics.

William Kaufman, M.D., a research fellow at Yale in the 1940s, died Aug. 24 at Forsyth Memorial Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was 89. Kaufman, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, received an M.A. in chemistry in 1932, a Ph.D. in physiology in 1937 and an M.D. cum laude in 1938 from the University of Michigan. He was also awarded the Sternberg Memorial Medal for Excellence in Preventive Medicine. He came to Yale in 1940 as the Dazian Foundation Fellow in Physiology and remained a research fellow in physiology until 1942. Kaufman was in private practice in Connecticut and then became an executive with a New York medical information company until his retirement in 1981. Kaufman served for many years as American editor-in-chief of the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology.

Robert I. Levy, M.D. ’61, an international authority in lipid metabolism and a research visionary who linked cholesterol reduction to the prevention of coronary disease, died of pancreatic cancer on Oct. 28 at a New York hospital. He was 63. Levy, born in the Bronx and a resident of Morristown, N.J., was a graduate of Cornell University and Yale School of Medicine. He joined the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the NIH in 1963 and served as its director from 1975 to 1981. At the NIH he studied lipid disorders and atherosclerosis. He was a co-discoverer of the internationally used classification system of hypercholesterolemia, describing five distinct types. When awarding him a public health award in 1980, the Lasker Foundation cited his work in the Hypertension and Follow-up Program, which proved that the treatment of even mildly hypertensive patients was lifesaving. Levy’s unique professional experience and expertise led him to serve as a vital link and advisor to government, academia and industry. He was an active member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1981, Levy joined Tufts University School of Medicine as vice president and dean. He was also vice president for health sciences and professor of medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. From 1988 to 1992, he served as president of the Sandoz Research Institute, and in 1992, he joined American Home Products Corp. (AHP) as president of its Wyeth-Ayerst research division. In 1998 he was named senior vice president for science and technology at AHP.

Margaret S. Lyman, M.D. ’50, died Nov. 17 at the Middlesex Convalescent Center in Middletown, Conn. She was 76. Born in Middlefield, Conn., Lyman graduated from Smith College before entering the Yale School of Medicine. In 1964 Lyman joined the faculty at New York University Medical Center as an assistant professor of pediatrics. From 1968 until her retirement in 1992, she was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics. She was also on the staff at Bellevue Hospital. She provided pediatric care to the children of recovering addicts at Odyssey House and volunteered her time providing recreational activities for residents of the Queens Convalescent Home, now High View Health Care Center. Lyman was on the board of directors of the Lyman Farm in Connecticut and wrote a supplement to the genealogy of the Lyman family.

Joseph L. Melnick, Ph.D. ’39, a founder of modern virology who taught epidemiology at Yale, died of Alzheimer’s disease on Jan. 6 in Houston. He was 86. Melnick was born in Boston and moved to New Haven as a boy. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1936 and then earned a Ph.D. in physiological chemistry at Yale. Melnick stayed at Yale, becoming a professor of epidemiology in 1954. He became a chief virologist at the division of biological standards at the National Institutes of Health in 1957. He moved to Baylor University in 1958, where he became the founding chair of the medical school’s Department of Virology and Epidemiology. A pioneer in polio research and a leader in environmental science, Melnick was among the first to discover that the polio virus belonged to a larger group known as the enteroviruses and that these viruses only rarely invade the central nervous system. In the early 1940s, Melnick found that the virus appeared in sewage when new polio infections peaked in the summer, but dwindled at other times of the year. That insight pushed him to the forefront of environmental virology work. Melnick began his scientific career at Yale under polio expert John R. Paul, M.D. Melnick died five days before Dorothy M. Horstmann, M.D., another polio pioneer and Yale colleague with whom he wrote scientific papers.

James J. Smith, M.D. ’40, died Sept. 9 in Washington D.C. He was 88. At the age of 14 Smith joined the Brothers of the Christian Schools to prepare for a career in teaching and philosophy. His study of the scholastic philosophers and their dictum “a healthy mind in a healthy body” led him to petition the Vatican for a release from his vows so that he could study medicine. While at Yale School of Medicine he married classmate Beatrix Goldzieher, who was his professional collaborator for 56 years. Smith served his internship at Bellevue Hospital and was a medical officer at the U.S. Army First General Hospital during World War II. He was later appointed chief of medical intelligence for the Office of Strategic Services in Europe. He returned to New York, where he founded and directed two research laboratories and an outpatient clinic at New York University-Bellevue Medical Center. In 1946 Smith began a private practice in internal medicine and endocrinology. He also developed and promoted the uses of ultrasound and received a Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Smith held faculty appointments at George Washington University School of Medicine and Georgetown University’s Center for the Advanced Study of Ethics. From 1972 to 1985, as director of the Nuclear Medicine Service for the Veterans Administration (VA), he devoted considerable energy to developing a state-of-the-art service for the VA network of 172 hospitals. In 1982, a wing of the Salt Lake City VA hospital was dedicated to him.

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