Endocrinologist and Educator

Simeon Margolis was a pioneer of preventive cardiology.

Published in Hopkins Medicine - Fall 2022

Renowned endocrinologist Simeon “Moan” Margolis ’57, ’64 (Ph.D.) spent all but two years of his more than 50-year career at Johns Hopkins.

Margolis, a professor of medicine and biological chemistry who dedicated his practice to the management of diabetes and the prevention of coronary heart disease, died May 16 at the age of 91 in Baltimore.

“A Hopkins icon, Dr. Margolis was one of the pioneers of preventive cardiology and aggressive cholesterol and risk factor management,” says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Roger Blumenthal. Margolis was a co-investigator on a 1984 study that showed that cholestyramine lowered cholesterol and decreased coronary heart disease events. This was three years before the first statin was on the market.

While working on his premed studies at Johns Hopkins (Class of 1953), Margolis played for the university’s baseball and basketball teams. To this day, he holds the JHU basketball record for single-game scoring: 44 points. He was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

After residency training in the Osler Medical Service and two years at the National Institutes of Health, Margolis returned to Johns Hopkins for his doctorate in biochemistry in 1964, then served as chief Osler resident.

He directed the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism from 1968–82 and 1985–90, and served as the associate dean for academic affairs from 1984–90 and as associate dean for faculty affairs at the school of medicine from 1990–92.

From 1992 until 1996, he was co-director of the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, where clinicians treat patients and conduct research. At the center, which Blumenthal co-founded, Margolis focused on lipid disorder, prediabetes and diabetes.

In working to educate the general public, Margolis was editor of Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50 for more than 20 years. He also wrote a health column in the Baltimore Sun for 10 years and columns for Yahoo! Health for several years.

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