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Fall 2020:In Memoriam

Fall 2020:In Memoriam

School of Medicine


Elinor F. Downs, of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, whose extraordinarily lengthy and varied career encompassed pediatrics, public health and archeology, died on April 13. She was 108. Having maintained a private practice with her husband, who died in the service during World War II, Downs changed her career trajectory in 1948 by moving to Switzerland to work at the World Health Organization. In 1950, she joined the American Public Health Association and became a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she had a profound impact on building the school’s maternal and child health programs. She retired from medicine at 70, embarked on extensive world travels and became a noted archeologist.


David M. Roseman, of La Jolla, California, a gastroenterologist who maintained a private practice and served as the head of gastroenterology at both Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and San Diego VA Medical Center, died on Feb. 13. He was 93. Roseman also was a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California at San Diego, where he oversaw teaching programs for medical students and house staff.


Laurence H. Blackburn Jr., of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a member of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps who spent 22 years in the service — including a two-year stint as a medical monitor for the Project Mercy manned space flight program —died on April 19. He was 91. Blackburn’s naval career also included serving as senior medical officer aboard the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier during its first two Vietnam deployments.

Wil B. Nelp, of Seattle, Washington, a world-renowned pioneer in nuclear medicine who was the founding head of the Nuclear Medicine Division at the University of Washington Medical Center, died on March 14. He was 90. Although his internship and residency at Johns Hopkins had focused on internal medicine, in 1960, Nelp became the first trainee in nuclear medicine in the program that had just been started by Henry N. Wagner Jr. ’52, (1927–2012), one of the founders of the field.


Charles C.J. Carpenter, of Falmouth, Maine, a pioneering researcher on cholera and HIV/AIDS whose mentorship of innumerable young physicians had a profound impact on their careers, died on March 19. He was 89. He was among the first to recognize the extent of AIDS transmission worldwide, leading to his groundbreaking research on HIV in women. Earlier laboratory studies of Carpenter and his research colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and in India were instrumental in the development of oral rehydration therapy for dehydration due to diarrhea that ultimately saved millions of lives and still is used today.

Donald S. Gann, a renowned biomedical engineer, trauma surgeon and endocrinologist, died at his home in Brooklandville, Maryland, on Feb. 3. He was 87.


Richard K. Gundry, of Ramona, California, a Baltimore-born, fourth-generation physician who retired as a solo practitioner in Oregon, moved to the San Diego, California, area and resumed practice as a “house call physician,” died on Feb. 21 after a three-year battle against myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 88.


James H. McCutchan, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who suffered polio as a teenager and subsequently conducted primary research on poliovirus and other infectious diseases in the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, died on Aug. 22, 2019. He was 87. For most of his career, McCutchan was a clinician at the UNC Student Health Service, retiring as its assistant director in 2003. He continued his laboratory research until 2010.


William J. Stone, of Nashville, Tennessee, a nephrologist whose career of more than 50 years as a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt earned him the status as a legend there, died on May 11. He was 83.


Robert E. “Bob” Jacoby II, of Topeka, Kansas, who practiced medicine there for 36 years, earning the sobriquet of the “patriarch and physician leader” of family physicians in the area, died on June 4. He was 74. In 1975, Jacoby became the founder and senior partner of the Family Practice service, then merged it with an internal medical practice in 1990 to form the Cotton-O’Neil Clinic. In 2011, he was named Kansas Family Physician of the Year by the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians.


Diane Robertson Winn, of Catonsville, Maryland, an art as applied to medicine graduate who became a National Institutes of Health (NIH) representative in Ghana, died of congestive heart failure on April 21. She was 82. NIH sent Winn to Ghana to work with the head of a health clinic who was an ardent proponent of plant-based remedies. Winn became a passionate advocate and established several companies to foster such treatments — particularly for sickle cell disease and malaria — as well as firms that advanced medical illustration.

Faculty, Fellows and Staff

Belur S. Bhagavan (faculty, pathology, 1966–2005), an anatomical pathologist who was an admired and beloved colleague, mentor and friend to associates, medical students, residents and fellows during a nearly 50-year career at Johns Hopkins, died on Jan. 19, 2020, in New York City. He was 85.

Robert H.A. Haslam (HS, pediatrics, 1965–67; faculty, pediatrics, 1970–75), of Okotoks, Alberta, a Canadian-born physician who was an early director of the John F. Kennedy Institute for the Habilitation of the Mentally and Physically Handicapped Child, now the Kennedy Krieger Institute, died on March 30. He was 83.

David C. Moses (fellow, nuclear medicine, 1970–72; faculty, radiology, 1980–95), of Baltimore, a much-admired radiologist whose three-decade career at Sinai Hospital included chairing its department of radiology and heading its division of nuclear medicine, died on April 5. He was 79.

Joseph J. Tepas III (resident, pediatric surgery, 1976–78), who helped develop the first regional trauma system for the state of Florida, was chair of surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville for 11 years and became a powerful advocate of organ donation long before becoming a lung transplant patient himself, died on Dec. 20, 2019. He was 73.

Tirunilakuddi K. “Raj” Natarajan (researcher, radiology and nuclear medicine, 1972–2012), of Baldwin, Maryland, who was a designer of a pioneering system for image display and analysis (IDA) for radionuclide imaging, died on April 23. He was 94.

Robert J. Wityk (faculty, neurology, 1996–2013), of Timonium, Maryland, who had a significant impact on developing the protocols for diagnosing and treating stroke patients, died on March 26 from a brain tumor. He was 60.


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