Ramzi S. Cotran, MD 1932-2000- BWH Bulletin - For and about the People of Brigham and Women's Hospital
Skip to contents
October 27, 2000
Browse the archive
In This Issue:
Ramzi S. Cotran, MD 1932-2000
Partners ends relationship with Tufts
What are the HR Standards?
Do You Know What A Sentinel Event Is?
Generous Gifts Go A Long Way
Thomson Leadership Award
BWH Town Meeting November 15 at 11 a.m.
Ramzi S. Cotran, MD, chair of the Department of Pathology at BWH, passed away at his home on October 23 following a lengthy illness. He was 67. Widely acknowledged as the foremost acade-mic pathologist in the United States and one of BWH’s most respec-ted leaders, Cotran was also the Frank B. Mallory Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and, since 1990, the chair of the Department of Pathology at Children’s Hospital. “Ramzi was a dynamic force in the growth of Brigham and Women’s Hospital during the last two decades,” said BWH president, Jeffrey Otten. “His work in vascular biology and his commitment to building a top-rate research laboratory immeasurably impacted our hospital and the work of scientists throughout the world.” Cotran was born in Haifa, Palestine in 1932 and received his medical training at the American University of Beirut. He came to Boston to pursue post-graduate studies in pathology and nephrology. He quickly established himself as an academic leader with positions at Harvard Medical School and at Boston City Hospital’s Mallory Institute of Pathology. In 1974, Cotran was named pathologist-in-chief at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. He served in the position for 27 years, transforming his department from a small clinical service to a distinguished academic department, considered one of the best training programs for pathology in the country. “Dr. Cotran was an exemplary physician, scholar and scientist who forever will be remembered as a giant in his field,” said friend and colleague Frederick J. Schoen, MD, PhD, vice chair of BWH’s Department of Pathology. “But one of Ramzi’s most important contributions to medicine was his teaching, and his legacy will comprise the work of many talented pathologists around the world whom he mentored including over one dozen department chairs.” In recognition of his contributions to the development of the careers of an extraordinary number of trainees and colleagues, Cotran received this year both HMS’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Mentoring and the Dean’s Award for Support and Advancement of Women Faculty. Beginning in 1979, Dr. Cotran had been the primary author of Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease, one of the most widely read of all textbooks in medicine. He also authored more than 180 research papers and served as the president or chairman of countless national and international professional organizations in pathology and nephrology. He was also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In acknowledgement of his impact on academic pathology, last month a professorship at Harvard Medical School was established in his name. A celebration was held at BWH on September 28 to honor Cotran’s achievements, announce the professorship, and present his portrait to the community. Cotran’s portrait will appropriately hang in the Bornstein Amphitheater among many of the hospital’s best and brightest throughout the years. This occasion was also a forum for Cotran to listen to BWH leaders, colleagues, friends, former trainees and family members, who paid special tribute to his academic achievements, as well as his characteristic warmth, friendship and love of mentoring. Cotran is survived by his wife, Kerstin; son Paul Cotran, MD; daughter Leila Cotran Jacobs and spouse Marc; daughter Nina Cotran, MD and spouse David Lenrow; daughter Suzanne Williamson and spouse Donald; and eleven grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 332 North Lauderdale Street, Memphis, TN, 38105-2794.