July 25, 1955 – November 29, 2019 (Stony Brook, NY)
Lina M. Obeid, M.D., was the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Dean for Research and Vice Dean for Scientific Affairs at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. Dr. Obeid’s clinical focus was on geriatric medicine, but she was a renowned physician-scientist and biomedical researcher known for her revolutionary work defining the role of sphingolipids in aging. Dr. Lina Obeid received her MD in 1983 from the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. She conducted her residency in Internal Medicine at Duke University, fellowship training in Endocrinology and Geriatrics, and post-doctoral work with Professor Robert Lefkowitz at Duke. Dr. Obeid rose through the ranks at Duke University to become Associate Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology. In 1998, Dr. Obeid was recruited to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she served as the Boyle Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics, and as Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Staff Physician at the Charleston Veterans Affairs Hospital. In 2012, Dr. Obeid was recruited to become Professor of Medicine and Dean for Research at Stony Brook University. She was promoted to SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine in 2017. Dr. Obeid launched her research career by studying the role of signaling lipids in cell stress, aging, inflammation and cancer. She was the first to identify the role of the lipid ceramide as a regulator of cell senescence and apoptosis. Her research focused on the role and regulation of bioactive sphingolipids in inflammation and cancer with specific interest in the enzymes sphingosine kinases, ceramidases and ceramide synthases and their respective roles in regulating ceramide and sphingosine phosphate levels in cells. She had contributed to more than 230 scholarly publications and was continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Obeid and her husband, Yusuf A. Hannun, M.D., at the Stonybrook University School of Medicine were dual recipients of Eicosanoid Research Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th International Conference on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases, which recently took place in October 2019. Both separately and as longtime collaborators, Drs. Hannun and Obeid were trailblazers in the field of bioactive lipids. Dr. Hannun is a Cancer and Metastasis Editorial Board Member.
April 23, 1932 – July 30, 2019 (Nashville, TN)
John Alexander Oates, III, was a medical professor, clinical researcher and physician. Dr. Oates served as chairman of Vanderbilt University’s Dept. of Medicine (1983-1997) and the director of the Center for Clinical Pharmacology there. He is best known for his research in the areas of hypertension, heart disease, and prostaglandin biology. While he retired as chief of medicine at VU at age 65, he was still actively involved in medical research until his final illness. Dr. John Oates was a pioneering investigator who elucidated mechanisms of drug action, physiology and disease with imaginative studies in humans based on precise and qualitative methodology. He was the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the 10th International Bioactive Lipids Conference in Montreal Canada (2007) for his work on Elucidation of the metabolism and biosyntheses of eicosanoids and development of new approaches to quantifying their production in humans. Dr. Oates will be remembered for his vision and for establishing the innovative and collaborative approach used now for clinical pharmacologic research. His focus on experimental medicine has become fashionable again in the era of translational medicine.
May 15, 1958 – November 18, 2015 (Toledo, Ohio)
Christopher Harris was dedicated administrator for the Department of Pathology at Wayne State University in Dr. Kenneth V. Honn’s research laboratory since 2001. Chris was a talented entrepreneur, remarkable organizer, fundraiser and meeting planner. He had a gift for bringing individuals together and making friends around the world. He was the exclusive meeting organizer for the very successful international conference on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases which showcases the cutting edge of science on the role of lipid mediators in various physiological and pathological processes. Chris managed these conferences starting in Chicago (2003), San Francisco (2005), Montreal (2007), Cancun (2009), Seattle (2011), San Juan (2013), and Budapest (2015). Chris’s exemplary organizing prowess and business expertise has greatly contributed to the success of this meeting series. He was also the founder of Victor’s Hope Foundation, a humanitarian organization, SMART BINZ, and HarrisHolmberg, Inc., an approved and certified professional event management company by International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of the world’s airlines; 250 airlines, primarily major carriers, hotels, all travel agents, convention bureaus and event management companies.
August 24, 1942 (Kanpur, India) – October 2, 2007 (Berlin, Germany)
A founding member of the Eicosanoid Research Foundation and the International Conference on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases, Dr. Nigam had received degrees in Food Technology (Dipl.-Ing.) and in Chemistry and Biochemistry (Dipl. Chem. &Biochem.) from the Technical University Berlin (1966 –74) and a degree in Medicine and his MD from the Free University Berlin. He did doctoral research in Fritz Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society and Hahn Meitner Institute for Nuclear Research, Berlin and received PhD in Radiation Biology (1976) from the Technical Univ. Berlin. Following post-doctoral and sabbatical scientific work in Brunel University of West London, Uxbridge, UK and Harvard University, Boston, MA, he joined 1977 the Dept. of Clinical Pharmacology of Free University Medical Centre Berlin as Senior Researcher and became 1980 head of the Experimental Endocrinology and GC-MS Centre in the Dept. of Gynecology and Obstetrics. There he rose to Head of the Eicosanoid- & Lipid Research Division (1982) and Centre for Experimental Gynecology & Breast Research (2001). He was 1982-84 Regional Director of National Foundation for Cancer Research, Bethesda, MD and 1984-94 Project Director of the Association for Int. Cancer Research, UK. Dr. Nigam was the first to give 1994 the “Lategan Prestige Lecture” in post-apartheid Univ. of Orange Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. He was awarded 1996 Academic Medal by the University in recognition of his contribution to the South African Fryer Oil Initiative, which led directly to strict legislation prohibiting the use of abused fats and oils. The same University awarded him 1999 Honoris causa (DSc. Hon.). Dr. Nigam was 1989 Visiting Scientist in Dept. of Hematology at Brigham & Women´s Hospital, Boston, MA, Visiting Professor in Dept. of Biochemistry at Brunel University of West London, Uxbridge, UK (1990-1993), Visiting Professor in Radiation Oncology at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI (1993 – 1999), Visiting Professor in Dept. of Veterinary Science at the Penn. State University, PA (1995 – 2001) and Extraordinary Professor in the Dept. of Microbiology and Biochemistry at the University of Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (1996 – ). Dr. Nigam´s research interests were in studying the role of eicosanoids in breast and cervix cancer and the regulation of 12/15-lipoxygenase enzymes. His group described a cascade of novel potent fungal eicosanoids, called 3-OH-eicosanoids”and characterized a novel enzyme “Hepoxilin A3 Synthase” which plays a crucial role in diabetes. Since 2004 he had been an active member of the Priority Program “Fungal Infection” of the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)”. Dr. Nigam authored more than 120 research publications and editor of 14 books. He was a member on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He also servered as a member on several research boards in various European countries. He was cofounder of the Free Radical Research Association (1975), presently known as “Society for Free Radical Research (SFRR)”, “Foundation for Asthma Research, Berlin” (1978) and “Free Radicals in Medicine” (1988). Dr. Nigam was the initiator of several cyclic conferences, 1989 the “International Conference on Eicosanoids and Other Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases” together with Dr. Honn and Dr. Marnett, 1999 the “International. Conference on Phospholipase A2” with Dr. Dennis, and 2000 the “International. Conference on Nonmammalian Eicosanoids and Other Bioactive Lipids” together with Dr. Gerwick (La Jolla, CA), Dr. Brash (Nashville, TN) and Dr. Kock (Bloemfontein, South Africa). Moreover, Dr. Nigam had been engaged for more than a decade in supporting developing countries in Africa and Asia.
1927– 2013 (Patchogue, New York)
Dr. McGiff, a leading cardiovascular and renal researcher achieved international distinction while leading the Department of Pharmacology for more than three decades, he passed away peacefully at his home on Long Island on Saturday/February 2, 2013. Dr. McGiff received his BA from Georgetown University, MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, served in Korea and Japan with the Marines as Senior Medical Officer and Flight Surgeon. After completing an American Heart Association Research Fellowship at Columbia University, he completed his clinical training and was appointed a joint faculty position in Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1962, served as Chief of Cardiology at St. Louis University. In 1974, Dr. McGiff joined Nobel Laureate, Sir John Vane in England for two years prior to becoming Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee. Dr. McGiff was appointed Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at NYMC in 1979 until his retirement in 2010.He is the Founder and Chairman of the International Winter Eicosanoid Conference, which is an ongoing conference in Baltimore, MD. Throughout his tenure, Dr. McGiff was the recipient of many grants, awards and achievements. Dr. McGiff, a world renowned scholar and scientist, a man of uncompromising principles and keen intellect, a free-spirited firebrand whose prowess as a researcher and an educator leaves a legacy that shapes the world’s understanding of the heart, blood and lungs.