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Deceased Faculty

Dr. Arleen B. Rifkind


RIFKIND--Arleen B., died peacefully at her home on April 2 after a brief illness. The daughter of Michael and Regina Brenner, Arleen was born in New York City in 1938. She attended Hunter College Elementary and High School and in 1960 graduated from Bryn Mawr College where she majored in philosophy. She then enrolled in NYU Medical School where she received her MD in 1964 followed by a residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital. While at medical school, Arleen married Robert S. Rifkind, and they remained devoted to each other for the ensuing 59 years. In 1965, the couple moved to Washington, DC where Arleen spent three years as a Clinical Associate in the NIH Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. There she began a long research career during which she authored or co-authored more than 80 articles on research findings published in scientific journals, most significantly on dioxin toxicity. Returning to New York, she went to work at the Rockefeller Institute and then joined the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College, where she became a professor in the Pharmacology Department in 1983, a position she held until her death. She served as chairman of Weill Cornell's General Faculty Council, led several NIH study sections and advisory boards and served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. Arleen is survived by her husband, by their daughters and sons-in-law Amy Rifkind (Bruce Brown) of Washington, DC and Nina Rifkind (Marc Lerner) of Oxford, MS, by her sister Diane Brenner of Worthington, MA, and by five grandchildren (Rebecca, Sam, Shoshana, David and Lily) who were a special source of joy to her. In addition to her family and her laboratory, she found great pleasure in classical chamber music and the piano, which she played throughout her life, and in her garden in Wainscott, Long Island.

Dr. Gavril Pasternak


It is with great sadness that I share the news that our colleague, Gavril Pasternak, passed away on Friday, February 22, 2019, after a brief battle with illness.  He was surrounded by his family and friends. Always a class act, his only concern was that his lab members be looked after following his passing.  He was an exceptional scientist, colleague, and friend.Gav completed his BS in Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University and continued onto MD-PhD training, a Fellowship, Internship, and Residency, all at Hopkins.  In his graduate work with Solomon Snyder, he carried out seminal studies characterizing the first opioid receptor and contributed to the discovery of the endogenous enkephalin ligands.  He joined the faculty at MSK in 1979 as a laboratory head in the Sloan Kettering Institute and a neurologist in Memorial Hospital.  Here, his research focused on defining and understanding novel targets of opioid action, and included the development of new analgesics with reduced side effects.  He published over 400 papers during his career and trained numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  He was also a generous and thoughtful mentor to his junior faculty colleagues.  An avid lacrosse player, he won three national championships at Hopkins and also founded New York City’s first youth lacrosse program in 1996.

The Pharmacologist, ASPET's quarterly news magazine tribute to Dr. Gavril Pasternak. click here: PDF icon g_pasternak_aspet.pdf

Dr. David Y. Gin

Dr. Gin

The staff of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College note with sadness the untimely death of our esteemed colleague David Y. Gin, a brilliant and talented chemist who joined the Sloan-Kettering Institute's Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program in 2006. Dr. Gin was working at the nexus of synthetic chemistry, clinical trials, and research to develop new, safer, and more-potent immunological and therapeutic agents for cancer and infectious diseases. He was a gentle, kind, good-humored, and remarkable human being who will be sorely missed. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Mary; his children, Duncan and Laura; and his entire family. David A. Scheinberg, MD, PhD Chair, Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program Thomas J. Kelly, MD, PhD Director, Sloan-Kettering Institute Craig B. Thompson, MD President & CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.



Dr. Arthur H. Hayes, Jr.

Dr. Arthur Hayes

DR. ARTHUR HULL HAYES, JR. FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER, DIES at 76. Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. who led the US Food and Drug Administration during the Tylenol crisis of 1982 and was a nationally known professor of clinical pharmacology, died on February 11, 2010 from complications caused by a chronic illness. In 1981, Dr. Hayes was appointed Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration by President Ronald Reagan. During his years at the agency, he directed the FDA''s response to the Tylenol tampering cases, called for a voluntary moratorium on direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicines and weathered criticism on the FDA''s approval of the sweetener aspartame. Born in Highland Park, Michigan in 1933 to Arthur Hull Hayes and Florence (Gruber) Hayes, he loved to travel and visited countries on five continents with his wife of 49 years. In 1970, he and his wife co-founded a medical clinic on the Pacific island of Pohnpei, and they worked as a doctor and nurse team on behalf of the Jesuit Missions. Hayes was ordained a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church in 1978 and served in parishes in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. Dr. Hayes received his A.B. in philosophy magna cum laude from Santa Clara University in 1955 and then went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a degree in philosophy, politics and economics in 1957. He returned to the US to study medicine; first at Georgetown University Medical School and graduated from Cornell University Medical School in 1964. Following his graduation, he served in the United States Army Medical Corps from 1965 to 1967-achieving the rank of Captain. Dr. Hayes worked as an Assistant Professor of medicine and pharmacology and Associate Dean for Academic Programs at Cornell before becoming a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Director of Clinical Pharmacology at Pennsylvania State University Medical School in Hershey, Pennsylvania. After leaving the FDA, Dr. Hayes worked as Provost and Dean at New York Medical College and later, in 1986, was appointed President of E.M. Pharmaceuticals, a division of the German company E. Merck. Five years later, he founded MediScience Associates, a consulting firm, part of Nelson Communications, Inc., and stayed there until 2005, when he retired. Dr. Hayes served on numerous commercial and pro bono boards, received many honorary degrees and awards and was named a visiting professor at a several academic institutions. He consulted for a dozen foreign governments, authored more than a hundred professional papers, delivered thousands of lectures and trained many clinical pharmacologists working today.

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