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Class Notes Winter 2021

Class Notes Winter 2021


Gilbert J. Wise, of New York, has retired after 11 years at the Weill Cornell Medical Center. Previously, he served for 40 years as director of urology at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.


Charles P. (Pat) Wilkinson, of Baltimore, former director of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, has earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins’ online History of Medicine Program — prompting program staff members to wonder if he may be the oldest recipient of a degree from the school of medicine. An emeritus professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins, he also is a former president of the American Ophthalmological Society.


Charles S. Bryan, of Columbia, South Carolina, has published Sir William Osler: An Encyclopedia. Bryan, distinguished professor emeritus of medicine at the University of South Carolina — where he served as chair of the Department of Medicine and director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities — has written extensively about medical history and medical biography, as well as infectious diseases. His new book features essays by 135 contributors who address such subjects as Osler’s continuing influence on the practice of medicine more than a century after his death.


Neurologist David A. Greenberg (Ph.D. ’78), of Novato, California, published a collection of short stories, Slings & Arrows, including several with a medical theme.


David B. Hellmann, of Baltimore, has stepped down as chair of the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and vice dean for the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus after tenures of 20 and 15 years, respectively. An innovative leader with vision and tenacity; a rheumatologist renowned for diagnostic skill and clinical judgment; a consummate, award-winning teacher; a prolific researcher and writer, Hellmann will remain as head of the Center for Innovative Medicine, which he founded in 2005. He also will remain co-chair of the Clinical Excellence Promotion Committee.


Thomas W. Koenig, of Baltimore, associate dean for medical student affairs since 2004, will retire from Hopkins Medicine in May 2021, completing a 35-year career as a dedicated clinician in psychiatry and medical school leader. As associate dean for medical student affairs, he was the key adviser to nearly 2,000 medical students, shaping the next generation of the healers and medical leaders who graduated from the school of medicine during his tenure. Joining the psychiatry faculty in 1994, Koenig later spent 10 years as director of the psychiatry clerkship before becoming associate dean. An award-winning teacher, he also used his fluency in Spanish and Portuguese to be a pillar of the Johns Hopkins Community Psychiatry Program’s Hispanic Clinic.


Calvin B. Johnson, of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, has been named Global Head, Public Health and Chief Medical Officer for the Miami, Florida-based Royal Caribbean Group, the world’s second-largest cruise line operator. Johnson will lead the company’s global health and wellness policy, manage its public health and clinical practice, and determine the strategic plans and operations of its global health organization. Johnson has had wide experience in overseeing large health care providers. He served as chief medical officer for the largest provider of health care for correctional facilities in the United States; as head of Temple University’s Health System; Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and medical director for the New York City Department of Health.


David-Alexandre C. Gros, of Rancho Santa Fe, California, has been named the chief executive officer of Eledon Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing targeted medicines for patients undergoing organ or cellular transplantation, as well as living with neurodegenerative diseases. Prior to becoming CEO of Eledon, Gros was co-founder, CEO and chairman of the board of Boston-based Imbria Pharmaceuticals Inc. He has held leadership positions in several other pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms.


Michelle M. Daniel, of San Diego, California, has become the vice dean for medical education at the University of California at San Diego. Previously she was an associate professor of emergency medicine and assistant dean for curriculum at the University of Michigan.

Tom C. Nguyen, of San Francisco, California, has become the chief of the Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He had been a professor of cardiothoracic surgery, chief of cardiac surgery, director of minimally invasive valve surgery, and co-director of the structural heart disease program at the University of Texas in Houston.

Matthew E. Nielsen, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has been named chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine. He had been interim chair since January 2020. After completing his residency at the Brady Urological Institute, Nielsen joined the UNC faculty in 2009 as a urologic oncologist and health services researcher. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Policy & Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.


Amit Jain, of Baltimore, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery, has been named the 2020–2022 William F. Rienhoff Jr., M.D., Scholar. The Rienhoff program provides scholarship funds for young faculty members specializing in surgical sciences. Jane concentrates on comprehensive surgical care of the spine in adults and children. He is an expert in cervical and lumbar problems, as well as scoliosis and spinal deformities. He employs the latest minimally invasive, motion-sparing and robotic surgical techniques to achieve the best outcomes for his patients.

House Staff, Fellows and Faculty

John C. Ruckdeschel (HS, medicine, 1972–1975), of Laurel Springs, New Jersey, has retired from academic medicine and cancer center leadership after 49 years. While focusing his practice and research on lung cancer and thoracic malignances, he directed or managed a long list of prestigious centers including the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and the University of Mississippi’s Cancer Institute. In each organization, he strengthened the focus on high-performing interdisciplinary patient-care teams.

Christopher B. Ruff, director of the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution (FAE) since 2001 and a member of the school of medicine faculty since 1983, has retired. Ruff’s research focused on various aspects of bone structure, bone mechanics and functional morphology, areas in which he attained considerable success and recognition. He served as editor of both the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. He made substantial contributions to the education of generations of Johns Hopkins medical students and trainees, mentoring more than 35 graduate students.

Shannon P. Pryor (HS; fellow, surgery, otolaryngology, 1994–1998), of Chevy Chase, Maryland, has been elected chair of the American Medical Association’s Council on Long Range Planning and Development. She also is the president-elect for MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society. She is affiliated with the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Christopher J. Sonnenday (HS, surgical oncology, 2005–2006), of Saline, Michigan, has been appointed director of the University of Michigan Transplant Center. His primary academic and research interests include the study of frailty and sarcopenia in liver transplant candidates, novel methods of patient selection in liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery, and developing quality collaboratives in transplantation.

Colleen Koch, director of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) and anesthesiologist-in-chief for The Johns Hopkins Hospital since 2014, has become the dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. Under her leadership for the past two years, ACCM has been ranked the #1 anesthesiology program in the U.S. News & World Report medical school specialty rankings.

Kathleen H. Burns (HS, pathology; fellow, hematopathology, 2004–2008; faculty, pathology, 2008–2020), of Boston, Massachusetts, has been appointed chair of the Department of Pathology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School. During her 12 years at Johns Hopkins, Burns became a full professor, vice chair for research in the pathology department, and director of the Physician Scientist Training Program.

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