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Pathologist honored with symposium

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2009 - Winter


Michael Kashgarian, M.D. ’58, HS ’63, was the centerpiece of a Yale symposium in October, but the words of praise for him wouldn’t have been out of place at a fête in Hollywood or Cooperstown: “a real icon,” a “Renaissance man equally at home in town or country” and “a triple threat.”

Kashgarian, professor emeritus of and senior research scientist in pathology, was honored for his 50 years at the forefront of research on kidney disease. At Yale he established a diagnostic renal pathology and electron microscopy laboratory that bears his name. Kashgarian was also a pioneer in understanding the process of organ rejection.

Jon S. Morrow, Ph.D., M.D. ’76, HS ’77, department chair and the Raymond Yesner Professor of Pathology and professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, and a colleague of Kashgarian for 30 years, said that his “infectious” fascination with renal disease inspired others. “He’s been a real icon,” Morrow said. “He’s profoundly affected the practice of physiology.”

Echoing Morrow, former Dean Gerard N. Burrow, M.D. ’58, called Kashgarian “really a pathological triple threat” as a clinician, investigator and teacher. A skilled fisherman, wine expert and bridge player, Kashgarian was also a beacon outside the classroom. “The New York City background disappeared into a Yale country gentleman,” said Burrow, a friend since medical school.

Although Kashgarian retired in July, he continues to work, completing his remaining research grants. He will also continue to serve as editor in chief of Yale Medicine.