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The Harold and Marilyn Menkes Memorial Lectureship

The Harold and Marilyn Menkes Memorial Lectureship in lung health and disease was established at the Bloomberg School following the tragic and sudden deaths of the Menkes in a car accident in 1987. Because of the Menkes’ particular devotion to teaching and research, a memorial lectureship was begun, whereby a leading pulmonary scientist would be invited to the School to interact with students, fellows and faculty. Such a lectureship continues the Menkes’ tradition of excellence in pulmonary teaching and research, and the study of lung disease at Johns Hopkins.

Harold Menkes, MD, received his medical degree from the University of British Columbia in 1963 and did residency training at the University of Pennsylvania, the Johns Hopkins University, and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. He was professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Medicine and director of the Division of Environmental Physiology at the School from 1980 until his death. He was also director of the interdisciplinary pulmonary training program and the clinical pulmonary function laboratories. His research interests spanned a wide spectrum from occupational and environmental lung disease to intracellular molecular mechanisms of airway smooth muscle hyperactivity. Despite his stellar scientific career, Dr. Menkes is perhaps best remembered for the enormous energy and commitment he brought to teaching students and fellows.

Marilyn Menkes, PhD, who shared her husband’s enthusiasm for learning and teaching, earned her doctorate in Epidemiology at the School in 1986. From 1972 to 1977, she taught science at Mercy High School in Baltimore before beginning her doctoral studies. She was appointed to the faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine just prior to her death. At that time, Dr. Menkes was beginning to gain national recognition for her work on the epidemiology of lung disease.

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