In Memoriam

Michael A. Gerber

Dr. Gerber was born in Kassel, Germany and received his medical degree(magna cum laude) at the University of Mainz. He trained in pathology at Rutgers University (Middlesex General Hospital) and then at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York where, as a fellow in Experimental Pathology from 1970 to 1972, he started a long association with Dr. Hans Popper, generally considered as the Dean of American hepatologists.

He was at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine from 1973 to1987, having been promoted to Professor of Pathology in 1980. Dr. Gerber received an NIH Career Development Award in 1975 and was Chief of Pathology at City Hospital Center at Elmhurst, New York from 1982 to 1987. In 1987 Dr. Gerber was appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. In 1991 he became Director of the Graduate Program in Molecular and Cell Biology at Tulane. Michael was an internationally recognized academic pathologist and a superb hepatic pathologist. He has a long and distinguished list of publications dealing with various aspects of liver disease but centering on viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. During the last few years he became interested in the characterization of stem cells in human livers. He was a skilled diagnostician as well as a productive scientist. His last paper was probably one published in the August issue of The American Journal of Pathology (Dash etal, Am. J. Pathol.151: 363-374, 1997) describing the successful infection of liver cells in culture with hepatitis C virus. I remember this article well, because I wrote a short note about it explaining to readers that the results described, if confirmed, would constitute a major breakthrough in studies of hepatitis C....

Michael was a low key and rather shy individual. He was kind, had a quiet sense of humor, and was invariably polite with his colleagues. I did learn much from him about human liver biology and pathology. He always had intelligent comments to make about the practice of pathology and the vagaries of academic life. At the time of his death Michael was a member of the Editorial Board of, The American Journal of Pathology and was actively working to consolidate the subsection of Liver Pathobiology of the American Society for Investigative Pathology. He was also organizing a special meeting of the American Association American Journal of Pathology, Vol. 151, No. 6, December 1997 Copyrigbt© American Society for Investigative Pathology ciation for the Study of Liver Diseases on hepatocellular carcinoma to take place in March, 1998. Michael was an Associate Editor of Hepatology and a member of the Editorial Board of Laboratory Investigation, Liver, Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, International Hepatology Communications, and Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Among Michael's many other activities, he took great pride in being the founder and President of the Hans Popper Hepatopathology Society, which met annually at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology meetings. With Dr. Swan N. Thung, he was the author of the book Differential Diagnosis in Pathology: Liver Disorders, published in 1995. More than 20 people did graduate or postgraduate work in Michael's laboratories in New York and New Orleans.

My last social contact with Michael was in April 1997 at the annual ASIP meeting. Michael gathered together a group of people interested in liver pathobiology. We made a series of plans for the future and agreed that Michael should lead the group. The next day he chaired one more workshop on liver pathobiology...

...In this instance, beyond the personal loss, we will miss Michael as a gifted pathologist, a great academic scientist, and an active member of the American Society for Investigative Pathology. There is much that we owe Michael, but the best way to honor him is by remembering who he was, what he accomplished, and what he gave to all of us.

Nelson Fausto

Chairman Pathology Department

University of Washington

Published in American Journal of Pathology, Vol. 151, No. 6, December 1997, Copyright, American Society for Investigative Pathology

Memorial Fund

Michael Gerber Memorial Lecture & Scholarship Award


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