P&S Journal: Spring 1995, Vol.15, No.2
Charles A. Flood, M.D. Dr. Charles A. Flood, a distinguished alumnus of P&S, a renowned gastroenterologist, and a revered professor for 40 years until his retirement 25 years ago, died at his Manhattan home Jan. 27, 1995, at age 90.
He spent his entire career at Columbia-Presbyterian, except for a year's pathology fellowship at Johns Hopkins and wartime service. He graduated from Columbia College before entering P&S, where he received M.D., M.S., and M.S.D. degrees. His internship and residency, including a year as chief resident, were at Presbyterian Hospital. He became an instructor in 1936 and rose through the ranks until being appointed professor of clinical medicine in 1963. He retired in 1970 and became professor emeritus of clinical medicine.
A long-time member of the Admissions Committee, he was assistant dean of admissions from 1937 to 1939. He also was a member of the faculty advisory board of the P&S Club. He was credited with involving students in alumni activities and promoting interest in the P&S Club among alumni.
Dr. Flood was editor of P&S Quarterly, the predecessor to P&S Journal, from 1967 to 1977. As a 1928 graduate of P&S, he was a member of the last class to graduate from the 59th Street campus and represented the third generation of his family to attend P&S. That prompted his interest in the school's history, and he wrote and published the history of both P&S and its alumni association.
Active in the P&S Alumni Association, he held nearly every office in the organization, starting as historian in 1952. He served as president from 1965 to 1967. He was a director of the Alumni Association from 1967 to 1972, 1975 to 1981, and 1982 to 1985.
He received honors from both Columbia and P&S alumni organizations.
During World War II, Dr. Flood served in several locations and was chief physician to General Dwight Eisenhower in Algiers. He was chief of gastroenterology at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., after leaving Algiers.
Dr. Flood also was known for his interest in classical music and his talents as a pianist.
Survivors include his granddaughter, Pamela Flood-Radoslovich'90 , a clinical research fellow in anesthesiology at P&S.
Kenneth Sterling, M.D.
Dr. Kenneth Sterling, an internationally recognized expert in thyroid diseases, died at his home in Riverdale Jan. 12, 1995. He was 74.
Dr. Sterling was clinical professor of medicine at P&S. He also was a staff physician in nuclear medicine and director of the protein research laboratory at the VA Medical Center in the Bronx.
Dr. Sterling was one of the major investigators of cellular action of thyroid hormones. He was one of the first to use radioactive iodine in the therapy of thyroid diseases. Dr. Sterling discovered that the body converts thyroxine, one of the major thyroid hormones, to triiodothyronine, which is the principally active form of thyroid hormone. This finding spawned a new field of investigation and knowledge of how thyroid hormones affect metabolism and led to seminal studies on the mechanism of the action of thyroid hormones.
He is remembered by his peers as an expert clinical thyroidologist who regularly participated in the thyroid clinic at CPMC. He treated patients there just days before his death.
Dr. Sterling joined the Columbia faculty in 1958 as a research associate and became clinical professor in 1974.
Dr. Sterling was born in Baltimore, Md. A graduate of Harvard, he earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1943.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Ruth Sterling, and a daughter, Donna.
C. Andrew L. Bassett in 1963
C. Andrew L. Bassett, M.D. Dr. C. Andrew L. Bassett, professor emeritus of orthopedic surgery, died of a brain tumor Nov. 14, 1994, at his home in Bronxville, N.Y. He was 70.
Dr. Bassett was director of the CPMC Orthopedic Research Laboratories from 1957 to 1986. He is credited with developing the first therapeutically successful use of non-ionizing, athermal, pulsed electromagnetic fields to heal fractured limbs. This resulted in the development of devices that hastened the healing of broken bones in humans. A device he co-designed also was used to heal the bones of injured thoroughbreds.
His research helped hundreds of thousands of patients avoid surgery.
A graduate of Princeton University, he received his M.D. degree from P&S in 1948 and an M.S.D. degree in 1955. He joined the P&S faculty in 1955.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy Clark Bassett; a daughter, Susan Wilson'77 of San Francisco; and two sons, David of Branford, Conn., and Lee of Sausalito, Calif.
Elizabeth Carlsen Gerst, Ph.D.
Dr. Elizabeth Carlsen Gerst, former assistant dean for continuing medical education and assistant professor of physiology, died at her Tenafly, N.J., home Dec. 28, 1994, at age 65.
Dr. Gerst, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, received her Ph.D. degree in physiology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957.
She is survived by her husband, Paul H. Gerst'52 , and three sons, Steven'86 , Jeffrey, and Andrew.