Honoring Dr. Samuel Baron

baronIt is with sadness that I share that Samuel Baron, MD, former Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology passed away on June 22.

Chair for more than 20 years, Dr. Baron touched the lives of many faculty members, fellows and students at UTMB. He was an international icon in interferon research and helped build the reputation of infectious disease research at our institution.

Dr. Baron received his MD from New York University in 1952 and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health from 1953 to 1955. Prior to joining UTMB in 1975, he was the Head of the Section on Cellular Virology within the Laboratory of Viral Diseases of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda.

Under his leadership of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, the size of the faculty greatly increased, the number of graduate students more than doubled and the department earned more recognition for advances in research. After stepping down as Chair, Dr. Baron continued to serve as Professor of Microbiology and Internal Medicine until 2007, when he became Professor Emeritus. The Samuel Baron Distinguished Professorship in Microbiology at UTMB was created with institutional funds in 1997 in honor of Dr. Baron for his significant contributions.

A member of Alpha Omega Alpha, Dr. Baron was also an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research and the American Association of Immunologists. His honors include the NIH Minority Affairs Award, the Distinguished Faculty Research Award from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Sinclair Award from the Galveston Chapter of Sigma Xi and the Katherine and Nicholas C. Leone Award for Administrative Excellence. In addition to publishing nearly 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and several book chapters, Dr. Baron edited four editions of the classic textbook, Medical Microbiology.

Read more about his career here.

Please join me in extending sympathy to Dr. Baron’s family, friends and colleagues.