May 20, 2005

Graduation 2005: New emeritus faculty honored at graduation

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From left, Marie-Claire Orgebin-Crist, Ph.D., J. Kenneth Jacobs, M.D., and John Johnson, M.D., were honored with emeritus titles at Commencement. Frank R. Freemon, M.D., Ph.D., not present, was also named emeritus.
photo by Dana Johnson

During Commencement, Four Vanderbilt University School of Medicine faculty members who are retiring this year were bestowed with the title of emeritus faculty, honoring their years of service to the University.

Frank R. Freemon, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Neurology, emeritus

Freemon received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he also completed his residency in Neurology. In 1972, he joined the faculty at Vanderbilt and served as staff physician and chief of Neurology at the Veterans Administration Hospital, where he was instrumental in the development of the Neurology Service as an active program for clinical service and teaching. Since 1997, Freemon has taught an elective course to Vanderbilt medical students and used his expertise in the field of Neurology to make significant contributions to the community: serving on a medical mission trip to Nigeria, volunteering as a neurologist at Nashville's Siloam Clinic since 2001 and serving as a volunteer lecturer in Neurology at Meharry Medical College since 2002. Freemon returned to school to receive his M.A. in U.S. history from Vanderbilt in 1985 and his Ph.D. in medical history from the University of Illinois in 1992.

J. Kenneth Jacobs, M.D., professor of Surgery, emeritus

Jacobs received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt. After completing medical school at Northwestern University and a stint with the United States Public Health Service, he returned to Vanderbilt as a surgical resident and entered private practice in 1963. During his approximately 40 years of practice in the Nashville community, Jacobs has been extensively involved in student and resident education at Vanderbilt, Saint Thomas and Metro General hospitals. In 2000, he joined the staffs of the Veterans Administration Hospital and Metro General Hospital. In 2002, he was appointed to the faculty at Vanderbilt School of Medicine as the John L. Sawyers Professor of Surgery and director of Endocrine Surgery. He is the 1990 recipient of the Shovel Award and has twice been presented with the Thomas E. Brittingham Clinical Teaching Award, in 1992 and 1996.

John S. Johnson, M.D., professor of Medicine, emeritus

Johnson received his B.A. and M.D. from Vanderbilt and did residencies in Renal Physiology and Immunobiology at the University of Rochester and in the renal transplantation program at Harvard University. Between 1965 and 1974, Johnson worked as a clinical associate and senior investigator at the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, and as head of the Division of Rheumatology at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. While there, he made important contributions to the literature in Immunology with a particular focus on myasthenia gravis. He began his career at Vanderbilt in 1974 and was promoted to professor of Medicine in 1997. Johnson is a past recipient of the Hugh J. Morgan Teaching Award at Vanderbilt Medical Center, the T. Leonard Tow Humanism Award at Vanderbilt School of Medicine and the first John Settle Johnson Mentorship Award at Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

Marie-Claire Orgebin-Crist, Ph.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, emerita

Orgebin-Crist joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1963 and has held the endowed Lucius E. Burch professorship since 1973. In 1979, she was given the secondary appointment of professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. Her research in the area of male reproductive biology earned her the Distinguished Scientist Award from both the American Society of Andrology and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. A past president of the American Society of Andrology, she has served on the editorial boards of several major journals in the field of reproductive biology, including editor-in-chief of the Journal of Andrology from 1983 to 1989. She served as program chairman of the Sixth International Congress of Andrology in 1997 in Salzburg, Austria. Additionally, she has been an participant in the educational mission of the School of Medicine, having been active in teaching, advising and participating in numerous committees.