December 19, 2008

Year in review 2008: VMC remembers friends, colleagues lost during year

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Sylvia Gografe, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Community leader and philanthropist Monroe Carell Jr., whose generosity and passion for the health of children led to the building of one of the nation's top children's hospitals, died June 20. He was 76.

Mr. Carell, along with his wife, Ann, was a staunch supporter and contributor to many areas at Vanderbilt and beyond, but he is perhaps best known for the legacy he leaves as the namesake of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

“Monroe will be forever known for his strong commitment and incredible generosity to his Children's Hospital and to the children and families it serves,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “I could not be more grateful to him and his family for the tireless dedication and service to Vanderbilt throughout the years.”

A renowned businessman, Mr. Carell was the founder of Central Parking Corporation, the world's largest parking corporation, where he sat at the helm for more than four decades before its sale in 2007. He was a Nashville native who served in the Navy before enrolling in Vanderbilt's School of Engineering.

At Children's Hospital, Mr. Carell served as an honorary lifetime member of the Board of Directors. He led the first two phases of the campaign to build the new, freestanding children's hospital, which opened in 2004.

At Vanderbilt, Mr. Carell was chairman of the Shape the Future campaign, the largest campaign in Vanderbilt's history, and has served as a member of Vanderbilt's Board of Trust since 1991. He also served on the Vanderbilt Medical Center Board and on the Board of Overseers for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Charles Beattie, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Vanderbilt's Department of Anesthesiology from 1994 to 2001, died May 25 at his home in Baltimore.

Dr. Beattie, 68, had been battling a neurodegenerative disease related to Parkinson's.

Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research and dean of VUSM, said Dr. Beattie's impact on anesthesiology at Vanderbilt and across the country has been staggering.

“I am just one of the many hundreds of fortunate anesthesiology faculty across the country to experience, through his extraordinary example, how the highest standards of quality, vigilance, and commitment change the lives of patients.

“Charlie Beattie was a role model scholar, educator, clinician and human being. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by his countless friends and colleagues,” Balser said.

Longtime Vanderbilt photographer Neil Brake died Tuesday, Nov. 4, at his home in Franklin, Tenn. He was 47.

Mr. Brake was an award-winning photographer who had worked at Vanderbilt for eight years, first in the University's Creative Services, before moving last year to the Medical Center's Office of News and Public Affairs.

Anne Karpay, a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry, died Jan. 5 after a four-year struggle with breast cancer. She was 26.

Ms. Karpay's research project was focused on determining the structure of a G protein coupled receptor, a member of the family of hormone and neurotransmitter receptors that are targets for about half of all currently prescribed drugs.

“Anne had an absolute passion for science that was matched only by her passion for friendship and life in general,” said her graduate school mentor, Charles “Chuck” Sanders II, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry.

Roxy Bogigian Leiserson, a former Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty member, died July 6. She was 95.

“Her nursing degree was a launching pad for a rich and full life that touched so very many people,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing.

“Through her life's works, she made a tremendous impact that will not be forgotten.”

After earning her Master of Science degree from Yale in 1952, she became a professor of Psychiatric Nursing at Vanderbilt. She was named Yale’s Distinguished Alumna in 1987.

She helped to found the Tennessee Mental Health Association and the Knowles Senior Citizens Center, as well as the first crisis call center in Nashville. She was also active in the Tennessee Nurses Association.

She married Avery Leiserson, professor of Political Science Emeritus at Vanderbilt, in 1971. They both retired in 1973.

Allan F. Moore, M.D., a 2003 graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Young Alumnus Representative on the Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors, died in July in Philadelphia from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. He was 31.

Dr. Moore, a fellow in endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital, was researching the prevention and complications of diabetes there and at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and was also was working toward a master's degree in medical science at Harvard Medical School.

His wife, Rebekah Gee, M.D., who was also seriously injured in the accident, is an obstetrician-gynecologist and a Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.

She is the daughter of former VU chancellor Gordon Gee.

Jason Morrow, M.D., chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology in Vanderbilt Medical Center's Department of Medicine, was remembered as a gifted scientist and generous friend.

Dr. Morrow, 51, died on July 8. Six hundred people attended his funeral on July 11 at Congregation Micah in Brentwood.

“Jason was an inspired and inspiring leader of our scientific endeavors,” said John Oates, M.D., founder of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, who helped launch Morrow's career.

“He knew excellence and had an infectious enthusiasm for discovery. We have lost a colleague and leader who held our affection and profound respect.”

Dr. Morrow joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1994, and later was named the F. Tremaine Billings Professor of Medicine and professor of Pharmacology.

Henry P. Pendergrass, M.D., emeritus professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences and former vice chair of the department, died of pneumonia on Sept. 20.

He was 83.

From 1976 to 1995, he was a professor and vice chairman of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at Vanderbilt.

After becoming professor emeritus, he was adjunct professor of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine for several years until the late 1990s.

He retired in Gladwyne, Penn.

“We are all deeply saddened by the death of Henry Pendergrass,” said Martin Sandler, M.D., associate vice-chancellor for Hospital Affairs.

“Henry was a great contributor to the field of Radiology and more specifically to Vanderbilt. Henry was an accomplished chest radiologist, teacher and true humanitarian.”