American Philosophical Society
Member History

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204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology[X]
41Name:  Dr. Thomas E. Starzl
 Institution:  University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
 Year Elected:  1999
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1926
 Death Date:  March 4, 2017
Thomas E. Starzl was director emeritus of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the time of his death March 4, 2017, at age 90. He received his Ph.D. in neurophysiology and his M.D. degrees at Northwestern University. Completing surgical training at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Miami, he became a Markle Scholar and faculty member at Northwestern University. In 1962, shortly after joining the faculty at the University of Colorado, Dr. Starzl performed his first kidney transplant and subsequently the world's first human liver transplant. Within a year, he had more kidney transplant recipients surviving than all other surgeons combined. He improved immunosuppression with anti-lymphocyte globulin (ALG), cyclosporine-based treatment and tacrolimus. Largely through Dr. Starzl's efforts, transplantation of all organs came of age. Dr. Starzl joined the University of Pittsburgh faculty in 1981and performed the first of 30 liver transplants at the university that year, helping make the city the "transplant capital of the world." Retiring from clinical practice in 1991, Dr. Starzl (in collaboration with fellow APS member and Nobel laureate Rolf Zinkernagel) delineated the previously enigmatic mechanisms of organ engraftment and proposed radical modifications of immunosuppression strategy that facilitates these mechanisms. This work served to improve clinical outcomes as well as the overall understanding of the function of the immune system. In recognition of his groundbreaking work, he was awarded the Jonathan E. Rhoads Medal for Distinguished Service to Medicine in 2002 and the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor, in 2004. He received many other honors and awards, including the 2012 Lasker Award and the Blumberg Award from the Hepatitis B Foundation (2014), as well as 24 honorary doctorates from around the world. He published almost 2,200 scientific articles and four books, including his memoir entitled The Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon. Thomas Starzl was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 1999. In 2016 the Society presented him with the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Science. The citation read, "Tom Starzl has transformed human organ transplantation from science fiction to reliable treatment of fatal diseases, virtually changing medical practice. Fifty years ago when the world had only a handful of surviving kidney transplant recipients he showed that rejection was reversible, allowing consistent success. His introduction of new immunosuppressive agents helped him to accomplish the first liver and multivisceral transplants. His studies explain liver regeneration and determine that this organ controls lipid metabolism. His discovery of persistent donor cell chimerism in successful recipients points the way to allograft tolerance without chronic immunosuppression. In recognition of his profound contributions the American Philosophical Society salutes Thomas E. Starzl by awarding him its highest honor."
42Name:  Dr. Lewis Thomas
 Institution:  Sloan-Kettering; Cornell University Medical College
 Year Elected:  1976
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1913
 Death Date:  12/3/93
43Name:  Dr. James C. Thompson
 Institution:  University of Texas Medical Branch
 Year Elected:  2000
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1928
 Death Date:  May 9, 2008
44Name:  Dr. Bert Vogelstein
 Institution:  Howard Hughes Medical Institute & Johns Hopkins Oncology Center
 Year Elected:  1995
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
Bert Vogelstein stands out among the leading contemporary workers in the field of the molecular genetic basis of cancer, with his work in the area of colorectal cancer of particular note. He has effectively proven the multi-step process of carcinogenesis from benign adenoma to metastasizing cancer, and he identified mutations in the APC gene as an early and very frequent change in sporadic colon cancer as well as a constitutional change in persons with familial polyps of the colon. He was also responsible for defining a new type of cancer-producing gene mutation, mapping to chromosome 2, in familial colon cancer, and for identifying a specific oncogene in gliomas (brain tumors). Dr. Vogelstein's contributions are of the greatest importance for understanding the progression of malignancy, for early diagnosis of cancer, and for prevention of cancer. Currently Clayton Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center as well as an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, he has been affiliated with Johns Hopkins University since receiving his Ph.D. from that institution in 1974. Dr. Vogelstein's many awards include the Alison Eberlein Award for Outstanding Contributions to Leukemia Research (1968), the Gairdner Foundation International Award in Science (1992), the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor (1992), the Richard Lounsbery Award of the National Academy of Sciences, to whose membership he was elected in 1992, the Charles Rodophe Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research (2012), the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2013), the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research (2015),and the Gruber Genetics Prize (2019). He is also a member of the National Cancer Institute and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
45Name:  Sir David J. Weatherall
 Institution:  University of Oxford
 Year Elected:  2005
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1933
 Death Date:  December 8, 2018
David Weatherall was a life-long student of the thalassemias. He was involved in identifying the general molecular nature of this group of hereditary anemias and in describing the genetic and clinical heterogeneity of both alpha- and beta-thalassemias. He also studied their influence on populations in many parts of the world and the role of malaria in determining their frequency. Both clinician and scientist, editor of the Oxford Textbook of Medicine and author of The New Genetics in Clinical Practice, Dr. Weatherall has played a significant role in bringing molecular genetics into the main stream of clinical medicine. He has been associated with the University of Oxford for more than thirty years as Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine (1974-92), Regius Professor of Medicine (1992-2000) and, after 2001, Regius Professor of Medicine Emeritus and Honorary Director of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oxford. In 2002 he was appointed Chancellor of Keele University. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1988); the Royal Society (vice president, 1990-91); the National Academy of Sciences (1990); and the Institute of Medicine (1990). David Weatherall was elected a member of the American Philosophical society in 2005. He died on December 8, 2018 at the age of 85.
46Name:  Dr. Jean D. Wilson
 Institution:  University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
 Year Elected:  2000
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1932
 Death Date:  June 13, 2021
Jean Wilson received an M.D. at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1955 and joined its faculty in 1960. He served as Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism from 1988-95 and is currently Charles Cameron Sprague Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science and Professor of Internal Medicine. He is also a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is the recipient of the Ernst Oppenheimer Award and the Fred Conrad Koch Award of the Endocrine Society, the Amory Prize of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Henry Dale Medal of the Society for Endocrinology and the Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and has served as president of the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Endocrine Society. He discovered a new hormone in 1967 when he and his colleagues showed that the male sex steroid testosterone can be converted to a closely related but more potent hormone dihydrotestosterone by 5a-reductase, an enzyme predominantly located in target tissues. Through experiments in a variety of species he established a bihormonal theory of male sexual differentiation, namely that testosterone controls the development of the internal urogenital tract and that dihydrotestosterone controls the prostate gland and external genitalia. This work has had important clinical ramifications in that it made possible the elucidation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for several syndromes of abnormal sexual development and understanding of the role of dihydrotestosterone in controlling the growth of the prostate gland in man and animals. A direct consequence of these fundamental studies was the development of drugs to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, an approach that has been applied to the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and male pattern baldness. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2000. He died on June 13, 2021.
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