Dr. Stephen Udem died of lymphoma on January 11, 2014. He was 69.
Dr. Udem was a renowned physician-scientist whose research focused on RNA viruses that cause human respiratory diseases. He made major contributions to vaccine design and development.
He earned a Ph.D. in genetics and cell biology and an M.D. degree in Einstein’s Medical Scientist Training Program. In 1976, he joined the Einstein faculty in the departments of medicine, of cell biology and of microbiology & immunology, and rose to the rank of full professor. He later helped lead the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
Dr. Udem published many scientific papers, held several patents and was elected to Einstein’s Leo M. Davidoff Society for teaching excellence.
Dr. Stanley Altman passed away on July 18, 2014, at the age of 91.
Dr. Altman was a member of the Einstein faculty from 1958 to 1987. He started as a clinical instructor of surgery and rose to the rank of associate professor of surgery. He also served as surgical director of emergency services at Jacobi Medical Center (then known as Jacobi Hospital) and practiced vascular and general surgery at Montefiore for nearly 20 years. Dr. Altman wrote several articles on groundbreaking surgical techniques. His son Mark P. Altman, an orthopedic surgeon, is a member of Einstein’s Class of 1982.
Dr. Dhananjay Kaul, a professor of medicine (hematology), died on November 17, 2013.
Dr. Kaul’s research laboratory focused on the mechanisms of vascular dysfunction in hemolytic disorders such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia. His studies were directed toward understanding mechanisms that contribute to endothelial abnormalities, altered microvascular regulation and abnormal blood cell–endothelium interactions in these hemolytic disorders. Another major research goal was to understand how sickle red cells lead to vascular endothelial damage, apoptosis, platelet activation and vaso-occlusion. His laboratory was at the forefront in defining mechanisms involved in pathologic cell adhesion.
Dr. Adrienne Asch, a professor of epidemiology & population health and of family and social medicine at Einstein for 10 years, passed away on November 19, 2013.
Her work focused on bioethics, reproductive rights, professional ethics and disability. She was an engaged activist; her passion for her subject was partly informed by her blindness.
Also a prolific scholar, Dr. Asch wrote numerous articles and book chapters and was the co-editor of Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights and The Double-Edged Helix: Social Implications of Genetics in a Diverse Society.
Dr. Johnson’s Einstein career spanned 43 years, from 1959 until 2002. She studied genetic childhood diseases and was one of 10 Einstein faculty members who collaborated on groundbreaking research that identified a group of rare inherited metabolic disorders known as peroxisomal diseases. In addition, she studied lysosomal storage diseases together with Isabelle Rapin, M.D., a professor emerita in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and the department of pediatrics. Dr. Johnson also did pioneering work on Alexander disease, caused by a mutation affecting glial fibrillary acidic protein.
Dr. Ronald Burde died on February 23 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was an emeritus university professor in the department of ophthalmology, in the department of neurology and in the Leo M. Davidoff department of neurological surgery at Einstein and Montefiore.
Dr. Burde chaired the ophthalmology department from 1988 until he retired in 2000. He wrote 200 scientific papers and brought a deep understanding of experimental science to the study of neuro-ophthalmology. His colleagues and students admired him as a compassionate physician and inspirational leader who approached clinical issues with intensity and keen logic.
He received numerous academic honors and served on the editorial boards of many scientific journals. Dr. Burde counted his work with the many fellows and residents he trained among his proudest accomplishments.