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Former Internal Medicine chief Allison dies at 92

May. 14, 2015, 8:41 AM


Fred Allison Jr., M.D., professor of Medicine, emeritus, and former chief of the Division of Internal Medicine, died May 8 at age 92.

Fred Allison Jr., M.D.

Dr. Allison graduated from Auburn University in 1946, received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1946 and completed his residency training at Vanderbilt University Hospital.

After specializing in virology and infectious diseases at Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans, he began research into cellular immunity at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. In 1968 Dr. Allison was appointed as head of the Department of Medicine at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and chief of Medicine at the LSU Division of Charity Hospital.

Upon retiring from LSU in 1987, he returned to Vanderbilt as a professor of medicine and Physician-In-Chief of the Nashville Metropolitan General Hospital. In 1993, he was appointed chief of Vanderbilt’s Division of General Internal Medicine, a position he held until 1996 before serving as a consultant in internal medicine for the Zerfoss Student Health Service at Vanderbilt. Dr. Allison was appointed as a trustee of the Hospital Authority for Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County in 1999.

His scientific career was a distinguished one. His early studies on the effect of corticosteroids in inflammation were seminal observations of their ability to modify the inflammatory reaction. His series of papers on the pathogenesis of inflammation published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine included important observations on the cellular response and factors influencing the function of inflammatory cells.

Dr. Allison is survived by his wife of 65 years, Clara Knox Allison of Nashville; his children Rebecca Allison Parsley of Birmingham, Alabama, Martha Allison Brown of New Orleans, Fred Allison III of New Orleans, and Robert Gardiner Allison of Nashville; his grandchildren: Henry Nutt Parsley III, William Knox Allison, and Elizabeth Kelly Allison.

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