May 15, 2009

Graduation 2009: New emeritus faculty honored for service

Featured Image

George Bolian, M.D., left, and James Snell Jr., M.D., are recognized at last week’s graduation. (photo by Joe Howell)

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


George C. Bolian, M.D., professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus

After earning baccalaureate degrees from both Harvard University and the University of Chicago, Bolian returned to his native New Orleans where he received an M.D. in 1957 from Tulane University.

He served for three years as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, and served on the faculty of both the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii. While in Washington, he became the first full-time medical director for psychiatry at the Children's Hospital in Seattle.

Bolian joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1987 and has served in a variety of capacities within the department of Psychiatry, including residency training director, medical director of the Psychiatric Hospital, division director, vice chair and interim chair. He served as a member of the Medical School Admissions Committee, chaired the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee for 16 years and was elected to chair the Vanderbilt Medical Center Medical Board.


Carl G. Hellerqvist, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus

Hellerqvist received his Ph.D. in chemistry at Stockholm University in 1968 and his filosofie doktor docent degree in carbohydrate chemistry and molecular biology in 1971. He held the position of assistant professor of organic chemistry at Stockholm University before moving to Johns Hopkins University as a visiting assistant professor and research scientist. He joined the Vanderbilt faculty as an assistant professor of biochemistry in 1974 and was promoted to associate professor in 1982 and to professor in 1999.

Hellerqvist has published approximately 85 articles while a faculty member at Vanderbilt, many dealing with his primary expertise as a glycobiologist, and two being listed as “citation classics.” He holds 14 patents and developed two biotechnology companies, CarboMed, for which he was director/consultant from 1989 to 2001, and AngioPath Inc., for which he served as director and chief scientific officer from 2000 to 2006.


Alexander R. Lawton III, M.D., professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus

Lawton served for 28 years as the Edward Claiborne Stahlman Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology in the Department of Pediatrics.

A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, he obtained his medical education at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, graduating in 1964, and completing his pediatric residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital. He returned to Vanderbilt in 1980.

At Vanderbilt, he contributed original scientific research in human immunodeficiency that has had a significant impact on the lives of affected children. He is the author or co-author of 74 primary research articles and more than 70 invited reviews or book chapters.

Lawton's work has been continuously funded by the NIH for many years, and, as a result of his scholarship, he has been elected to membership in the American Pediatric Society, the American Association of Immunologists and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.


Samuel R. Marney Jr., M.D., associate professor of Medicine, Emeritus

Marney completed his undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He arrived at Vanderbilt in 1960 to begin an internship and subsequent residency. He then served two years in the U.S. Air Force before returning to Vanderbilt.

By 1968, he had been appointed to the full-time faculty of the School of Medicine, but he continued to improve his training and expertise as a clinical investigator at the Veterans Administration hospital in San Diego and as a visiting investigator at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif. His work reflects an outstanding expertise in the study of asthma and of asthma and allergy immunotherapies and preventive techniques. His work on anaphylaxis and inhaled antigens is well known. Under his supervision, the Allergy Clinic at Vanderbilt has become an active venue for the diagnosis and therapy of adult allergic disorders.

Marney has been named a fellow of the American College of Physicians (1975), the American Academy of Allergy (1980), and the American College of Allergy and Immunology (1990).


David E. Ong, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus

After earning his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Yale University in 1970, Ong served as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Bob Brady in the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt. Three years later, he joined the laboratory of Frank Chytil, professor of Biochemistry. Chytil's laboratory had just discovered CRBP, a retinol (vitamin A) binding protein.

Ong discovered the retinoic acid binding protein CRABP, which led to publications in Nature and Science. Ong received his first NIH R01 grant in 1977 and his second in 1983. That same year, he and Chytil shared the Osborne and Mendel Award from the Nutrition Foundation.


James D. Snell Jr., M.D., professor of Medicine, Emeritus

Snell received his M.D. from Vanderbilt in 1958. Internship and residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt preceded pulmonary research and service as chief resident in medicine at Vanderbilt. After a pulmonary fellowship at New York Hospital, he began his faculty career at Vanderbilt as an instructor in medicine in 1963.

In collaboration with others at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Snell helped establish a strong clinical fellowship program. After being appointed director of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine in 1969, he successfully competed for a Pulmonary Academic Award from the NIH to modernize the clinical division, revise pulmonary curriculum and recruit new faculty.

His establishment of a medical intensive care unit and his direction of it for 10 years not only brought the practice of critical care medicine to Vanderbilt, but also established research into critical care.