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Class Notes

By Decade Spring/Summer 2018


H. Lorrin Lau, of Honolulu, says that he “finally” saw his last gynecology patient and retired in 2017. Now 85, he plans to focus on his basic research projects. Several years ago, he was made a knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which he says established the world’s first hospital there around the year 1011. He also vividly recalls when the late Harry Prystowsky (HS, obstetrics, 1948–55; faculty, 1954–56), pioneered amniocentesis at Johns Hopkins. Prystowsky later became dean of the college of medicine at Penn State and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Florida in Gainesville.


Fredrick K. Merkel, of Kenilworth, Illinois, among the pioneering surgeons who performed the first human pancreas transplants at the University of Minnesota, was the featured speaker at the University of Minnesota’s May 19, 2017, celebration of a half-century of pancreas transplantation innovation and advancement. Merkel also was the key speaker for the pancreas section at the annual meeting of the European Society of Transplantation, held in Barcelona last September. Merkel also is a visiting lecturer in Loyola University Chicago’s masters of medicine program. 


W. Brantley Burns Jr., of Gainesville, Georgia, is pleased to report that a da Vinci robot was used in a procedure to repair his mitral valve in January 2017—and he was able to watch the Clemson-Alabama game that night. He plans to attend the reunion in June.


Martin Wasserman, of Ellicott City, Maryland, received the lifetime achievement award in public health from the National Association of County and City Health Officials, an organization he served as president for four years. During his nearly 40-year career, Wasserman was the health commissioner for three counties and two states, as well as director of the National Health Service Corps. From 1994 to 1999, he was the state of Maryland’s secretary of health, and he received the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Health Service for his state health service.


Joseph T. Coyle Jr., of Cambridge, Massachusetts, received the National Academy of Medicine’s 2017 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health for his revolutionary neuroscience research that led to improved clinical care worldwide for those with mental illness. Coyle, who was a professor and head of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins from 1975 to 1991, then became chair of psychiatry at Harvard, where he conducted groundbreaking research that illuminated some of the neurological mechanisms underlying Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Irving “Jake” Jacoby, of San Diego, led a 47-person Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) to Houston in response to Hurricane Harvey last August. Jacoby has been the team commander of the San Diego-based DMAT since 1991, with him and his team being deployed to nearly two dozen disasters. In Houston, Christina Catlett (HS; faculty, emergency medicine, 1998–), associate director of Johns Hopkins’ Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, was a backup member of Jacoby’s team. “It was great to have a physician on board from my alma mater!” he says.


Bert Vogelstein, of Baltimore, director of Johns Hopkins’ Ludwig Center for cancer research, received the 2018 Dan David Prize in the field of personalized medicine. Two other American oncology scientists will share the $1 million award in other David Prize categories. An international award endowed by the Dan David Foundation of Tel Aviv University, it honors and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research. The prize is bestowed for past, present and future achievements. Vogelstein’s award, which recognized him for his seminal contributions to the understanding of cancer genetics and genomics, is in the “future” category. It focuses on breakthroughs that hold great promise for improving the world.


Paul C. Kuo, of Tampa, Florida, has been named chair of surgery and surgeon-in-chief at the University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine’s Tampa General Hospital. Previously, Kuo spent eight years as chair of the surgery department at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, where he also headed a clinical analysis group known as OnetoMAP. It mines large volumes of data to predict health outcomes. While at Loyola, Kuo joined the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps and served in combat operations in Afghanistan.


Lucinda Bateman, of Salt Lake City, who specializes in myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (or ME/CFS), will share in a 10-year, $10.6 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for ME/CFS collaborative research centers and data coordinating centers. Among these will be the Bateman Horne Center (BHC), which Bateman co-directs in Salt Lake City. It is a nonprofit medical clinic and research center that will be the clinical core of the NIH-funded research. Under the NIH grant, BHC will collaborate with the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Connecticut, and the University of Utah’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences to educate local and regional physicians on the early diagnosis of ME/CFS.


Peter J. Pronovost, of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s former senior vice president for patient safety and quality and inaugural director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, has become the new senior vice president for clinical strategy at UnitedHealthcare, the largest for-profit managed health care company in the world. Pronovost’s leadership in reducing medical errors, improving clinical outcomes and reducing waste in health care delivery has been influential worldwide. In 2017, he received the Association of American Medical Colleges’ David E. Rogers Award, jointly sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Kasper S. Wang, of Los Angeles, associate chief of the division of pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, has been elected to the Pediatric Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery. His six-year term begins on July 1.


Trevor P. Myers, of Bethesda, Maryland, has been named chair of the Department of Anesthesia at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. Previously, he served 12 years as president of Dominion Anesthesia, a single-specialty group dedicated solely to providing anesthesia services to Virginia Hospital Center.

Faculty, fellows and house staff

Neil “Tony” Holtzman (HS; faculty, pediatrics, 1959–2002), of San Francisco, has published his fifth novel, The Bethune Murals. It is based on Norman Bethune (1890–1939), a Canadian thoracic surgeon and committed communist who went to China in 1938 to help Mao Zedong. In the 1920s, Bethune was the roommate of famed Johns Hopkins surgeon Alfred Blalock (1899–1964) while both were patients at an Adirondack tuberculosis sanatorium—and murals that Bethune painted on its walls still survive.

Catherine DeAngelis (HS, pediatrics, 1970–72; faculty, pediatrics, 1978–present), of Baltimore, has been inducted into the Johns Hopkins Women’s Medical Alumnae Association Hall of Fame.

John T. Repke (HS; fellow; faculty, pediatrics; obstetrics and gynecology, 1978–92) has retired as chair of the Ob/Gyn department at Penn State University’s College of Medicine following 15 years as its head. Previously, he held positions at the Harvard school of medicine and the University of Nebraska’s college of medicine. Repke and his wife, Jaque, who was assistant director of Ob/Gyn nursing at the time they left Johns Hopkins, live in Palmyra, Pennsylvania.

David M. Yousem (HS; fellow, radiology, 1988; faculty, radiology, 1998–) received the 2018 Exceptional Mentor Award from the American Medical Women’s Association. Vice director of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science and associate dean of professional development, Yousem has greatly expanded the number of faculty members and fellows within neuroradiology.

Suber Huang (HS, ophthalmology, 1989), president and founder of the Retina Center of Ohio in South Euclid, received the 2018 Jose Rizal International Medal from the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology. The award recognizes Huang’s demonstration of outstanding ophthalmology in the Asia-Pacific region. The Rizal medal is the organization’s highest honor for contributions in ophthalmology education and clinical care.

Nauder Faraday (HS; fellow, anesthesiology and critical care medicine, 1991–92; faculty, anesthesiology and critical care medicine, 1993–) has been appointed senior associate dean of faculty development.

Sherita H. Golden (HS; fellow; faculty, endocrinology and metabolism, 1997–), of Baltimore, has been named to the national board of directors of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Executive vice director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine, Golden has held several leading committee positions at the ADA and served as associate editor for its scientific journal, Diabetes Care.

Felicia Hill-Briggs (faculty, medicine, 1998–) has been named the 2018 president of the ADA’s Health Care and Education division. She is senior director of population health research and development at Johns Hopkins HealthCare.

David Newman-Toker (fellow, neuro-otology 2000–02; faculty, neurology, ophthalmology and otolaryngology, 2002–), has been named president-elect of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

Pranita D. Tamma (HS; fellow, pediatrics; pediatric infectious diseases, 2004–11; faculty, pediatrics, 2012–), an assistant professor of pediatrics in the school of medicine and director of the Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, received the 2017 Pediatric Scholarship Award from the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Shigeki Wantanabe (faculty, cell biology and neuroscience, 2016–), received a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It recognizes his pioneering use of a cutting-edge “flash-and-freeze” electron microscope to capture microscopic images of the transmission of nerve signals across the synapse. These images then are compiled into what amounts to a flip book used to animate and investigate the cellular dynamics and changes that take place—and how they may contribute to nervous system dysfunction.