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Dermatology’s Founding Father
Hambrick put the study of skin on medicine’s map.
Few in the field of dermatology had a greater impact on its expansion and growth than George W. Hambrick Jr., who headed the specialty’s departments at three university medical schools, including Johns Hopkins; helped found the American Skin Association; and mentored generations of dermatologists during a career that spanned more than a half-century.
Hambrick died on December 10, 2013, at his home in Charlottesville, Va., six days after his 91st birthday.
A 1946 graduate of the University of Virginia medical school, he trained in dermatology there, and at the University of Iowa, Columbia, and Duke, then served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Department of Medicine at Hopkins as a member of its dermatology division in 1966. He was named a full professor and director of the division in 1969, prior to its elevation to departmental status, which he oversaw.
Hambrick did such a fine job establishing Hopkins’ dermatology department that in 1976 he was recruited by the University of Cincinnati to create its first dermatology department. In 1981 he became co-director of dermatology at Cornell, establishing it as a full department there as well.
In 1987, he was among the co-founders of the American Skin Association. He served as its president and fostered its research and public education efforts about skin diseases. Columbia established a dermatology professorship in his name and Johns Hopkins recently created The George W. Hambrick Jr. M.D. leadership fund in oncological dermatology.