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Former CC Radiology Chief Doppman Mourned

Dr. John Leo Doppman, 72, chief of the Clinical Center diagnostic radiology department for 26 years, died of cancer on Aug. 21 at the Clinical Center. A diagnostic and interventional radiologist at the CC for 36 years, he retired in April.

Dr. John Leo Doppman

Doppman developed, refined and performed numerous semi-surgical radiologic procedures. He was a pioneer in angiography, a technique that uses injections of radio-opaque dye to visualize blood vessels and tumors. He researched vascular malformations of the spinal cord and developed ways to visualize and treat them. His research culminated in the publication of the first text on this subject in 1969. Later, he concentrated on endocrinology research and developed techniques for locating ectopic or elusive glandular tumors. Many of these techniques are now standard practice in medical centers worldwide.

"John was a pillar of the NIH clinical research community," said Dr. John Gallin, Clinical Center director. "He was a respected clinician, prolific writer, dedicated teacher and generous friend. He will be missed."

Doppman received an M.D. from Yale and interned at Mercy Hospital, Springfield, Mass., served in the Navy from 1954 to 1957 and completed a residency in radiology at the Hospital of St. Raphael, New Haven, Conn. He was a Fulbright fellow in radiology research at the Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital, London, and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.

He joined the Clinical Center in 1964 as deputy chief of the diagnostic radiology department. From 1970 to 1972, he was a radiology professor at the University of California, San Diego. He returned to NIH, where he was chief of the CC diagnostic radiology department from 1972 to 1996. Under his direction, the department acquired among the first CT and MRI scanners in the country.

"He was a keen, compassionate clinician, an enthusiastic teacher and an innovative thinker," said Dr. Andrew Dwyer, CC radiologist. "He was a strong, positive influence on the clinical, educational and research environment of the Clinical Center."

On Aug. 2, Doppman was awarded scientist emeritus status. Among his many honors were the Gold Medal from the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (1997); Gold Medal from the American Roentgen Ray Society (1998); the Copeland Award from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (1992); and the Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal (1982), the highest award granted by PHS.

He also received several NIH awards including the Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award (1997); the Clinical Center Director's Award (1997); and the NIH Director's Award (1999). He was an honorary member of the radiological societies of England, Ireland, Germany and Hungary, as well as of the American Society of Endocrine Surgeons. He authored 38 textbook chapters and 516 articles in scientific journals.

Survivors include his wife, Anne-Marie; a daughter, Corinna, a son, Christopher; and a granddaughter, Nicole.

A fund has been established to create an annual lectureship to honor Doppman. Tax-deductible contributions to the fund supporting the John L. Doppman Memorial Lecture can be sent to: FAES, One Cloister Court, Bethesda, MD 20814. Make checks payable to FAES and note that the contribution is for the John L. Doppman Fund.

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