Medical Alumni Honored


Five physicians were recognized in November ceremonies during Duke Medical Center Alumni Weekend for their contributions in the field. The Duke Medical Alumni Association selected Donald C. Brater '67, M.D. '71, Eng M. Tan (house staff '57), and Robert "Sandy" Williams M.D. '74 to receive Duke University Medical Center Distinguished Alumni Awards. Madison S. Spach '50, M.D. '54 received Duke Medical Center's W.G. Anlyan, M.D., Lifetime Achievement Award and Glenn A. Kiser B.S.M. '41, M.D. '41 received the Distinguished Service Award.


Brater is dean of the medical school at Indiana University, where he has chaired its department of medicine since 1990. After completing a residency and research fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, he spent a year on the faculty before going to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, where he taught for nine years. In 1986, he joined the Indiana faculty, where he started a clinical pharmacology program.


He is president of the Association of Professors of Medicine and the U.S. Pharmcopoeia and chairs the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology. In presenting the award, Robert C. Murrah Jr. '79, M.D. '83, president of the Duke Medical Alumni Association, described Brater as an internationally recognized expert on the effects of drugs on the kidney and cardiovascular system and on the adverse reactions to diuretics and drugs for rheumatism.


Tan, whom Murrah characterized as "the founder of the field of autoimmune disease diagnosis including lupus, scleroderma, and many related degenerative disorders," is a professor and head of the Keck Autoimmune Disease Center at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Tan came to Duke in 1956 for his internship after earning both his undergraduate and medical degrees at Johns Hopkins University. He completed his residency at Metropolitan General Hospital at Case Western Reserve University and research fellowships at Case Western and Rockefeller University. In 1967, he joined the department of experimental pathology at Scripps, and later, the institute's division of allergy and immunology in the clinical research department.


Williams, a molecular cardiologist, was a resident in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital before returning to Duke as a cardiology research fellow in 1977. He joined Duke's medical faculty in 1980. After a decade at Duke, he moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to become chief of cardiology and professor of internal medicine and molecular biology. He also directs the Ryburn Center for Molecular Cardiology and is president of the Association of University Cardiologists.


Lifetime achievement award-winner Spach has served Duke for more than a half-century, and most of that time as chief of pediatric cardiology. According to Murrah, he has "demonstrated extraordinary leadership as a pediatric cardiology researcher, clinician, teacher, and mentor." After completing a pediatrics residency and fellowship at Duke, he joined the faculty in the departments of pediatrics and physiology. As the first chief of the pediatric cardiology division, from 1960 to 1983, and again from 1986 to 1991, he developed the division's training program with the help of his longtime mentor, then-chair of pediatrics Jerome S. Harris. Spach retired in 1996 but still works full-time in laboratory research.


Service award-winner Kiser, a retired physician, investor, and philanthropist, says Murrah, "has made tremendous contributions to children's health care and to the citizens of North Carolina through his long and distinguished association" with the medical center and the community. After serving in the Marine Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service, he returned to Duke for a pediatrics residency. He was among the first pediatricians to point out the extreme danger of lye and other poisonous household substances to children. He and others developed the concept of child-proof containers and helped raise public awareness of poison safety. He worked briefly at Johns Hopkins before opening a private practice in Salisbury, North Carolina. He lived in Blowing Rock for twenty-five years and was president of the Watauga County Medical Society.


Kiser established an endowed professorship in pediatric pharmacology and toxicology at Duke named jointly after himself and the late Jay Arena M.D. '32. He and his wife, Muriel, contributed to new McGovern-Davison Children's Health Center at Duke; the center's welcome area was named in their honor.



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