Doctor and geneticist Leon Rosenberg dies at 89

sRenowned physician and medical geneticist Leon Rosenberg, known for elucidating the biochemical basis of certain metabolic disorders, died on July 22. His wife, Diane Drobnis Rosenberg, tells us Washington Post that her husband died of pneumonia at his home in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Huntington Willard, a former doctoral student at Rosenberg who is now a geneticist at Genome Medical, says Mail.

Rosenberg was born on March 3, 1933 in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in the nearby suburb of Waunkee, according to reports. Mail. He graduated in 1957 with a MD from the University of Wisconsin, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree, according to the director. After completing his medical training, he treated children with genetic disorders at the National Cancer Institute for six years.

In 1965, Rosenberg’s genetics career took him to Yale University, where in 1972 he established the first human genetics department in the United States. He went on to serve as dean of medical school between 1984 and 1991, during which time he created the Office of Minority Affairs to ease racial disparities and increase minority attendance at the school, according to Yale University. Advertising.

In 1981, Rosenberg’s career came to light in the media after a Senate subcommittee held a hearing regarding a proposed anti-abortion bill. During his testimony, Rosenberg strongly denounced the idea that scientific evidence showed that life began at conception, New York times I mentioned at the time. ‘Don’t ask science and medicine to help justify’ the ban on access to abortions Mail He reports he told the committee, “Because they can’t. Ask your conscience, or your minister, or your priest, or your rabbi, or even your God, for this matter lies within their jurisdiction.” Invoice invoice later.

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In 1991, Rosenberg Leave academia For a few years to lead the Pharmaceutical Research Institute at Bristol-Myers Squibb, but in 1998, he returned to become a professor in Princeton’s Department of Molecular Biology, according to the Yale version. “He was an extraordinary teacher,” said Harold Shapiro, the fellow who helped recruit Rosenberg to Princeton. Mailadding that he “was relentless in wanting to talk to the students at length” about their careers.

Despite authoring hundreds of scientific papers, Rosenberg considered a personal article “Brainsick” as one of his most important publications, Mail reports. The article He recounts his 1998 suicide attempt and his battle with bipolar disorder. In the article, he said the shame often associated with mental illness and its treatment is harmful. He wrote: “It makes no sense to allow stigma, which is based on its basic premise that people with mental illness are vulnerable, to make affected people unwilling to be diagnosed.”

His career has seen many breakthroughs: Rosenberg’s research helped explain the genetic basis of the metabolic disorders that can cause ketoacidosis and hyperammonemia, and his work helped pave the way for treatments for people with enzyme deficiencies, according to the Yale release. For example, his research team found that vitamin B supplementation could reverse the effects of the rare genetic condition homocystinuria, which makes the body unable to process the amino acid methionine.

These discoveries have led to numerous awards, including the Borden Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the McKusick Leadership Award from the American Society of Human Genetics, as well as appointments to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, according to the statement. .

Rosenberg is survived by three children from a previous marriage, his wife and daughter Alexa, as well as by a brother, six grandchildren, and a grandson.

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