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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Spring 1995, Vol.15, No.2
Alumni Association Activities
Alumni Council

Dr. Michael Shelanski, the Francis E. Delafield Professor and Chairman of Pathology, was the guest speaker at the Alumni Council dinner Sept. 21. Dr. Shelanski reviewed the past accomplishments of the department, citing in particular the work of such notable faculty members as Arthur Purdy Stout, Virginia Kneeland Frantz'22, and Raffaele Lattes'46 MSD. Upon his arrival in 1987, he said, the hospital and the medical school agreed to make a $7 million investment in the department.

Dr. Shelanski credited Jay Lefkowitch'76 for his strong leadership in developing the course of study for undergraduate medical students. One of the department's failings, he noted, was in recruiting students, and he hopes to remedy the situation. Recent discoveries and advances by faculty members include the cloning of the first human oncogene by Dr. Riccardo Dalla-Favera, a member of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, and major advances in our understanding of molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis by Drs. Ben Tycko, Hanina Hibshoosh, Jan Kitajewski, and John Krolewski, members of the Oncology Division.

At the Nov. 16 council dinner, the guest speaker, Dr. David Bickers, the Nelson Professor and Chairman of Dermatology, outlined the department's past glories and his vision for the future. He says he hopes to rebuild the department by stimulating the scientific base of the discipline in work done in soon-to-be refurbished laboratories on the 15th floor of the Vanderbilt Clinic. One of the growth areas for academic dermatology in the future, he predicted, will be the teaching of dermatology to non-dermatologists, primary care physicians, and others. As to the scientific basis of dermatology, he said, "We've only scratched the surface. Pardon the pun!" Future study will focus on the skin's role as the most distant outpost of the nervous system. To this end, Dr. Bickers hopes to establish a basic science program on the neurobiology of the skin. "The skin," he insisted, "is a wonderful model system for studying human biology in general." Dr. David Bickers


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