Sheila Clibbon, Architectural Research

At presstime Almanac was advised that Sheila Clibbon, a British architectural scholar who was affiliated with Penn during the 'sixties and early 'seventies, died last week at St. Christopher's Hospice outside London, at the age of 71.

Dr. Marvin Sachs, a PennMed internist who worked with Ms. Clibbon on a project to identify successful architectural approaches to health care facilities, recalls Ms. Clibbon as an innovative researcher who secured major grants to create, in the University City Science Center, an architectural research unit that was the first of its kind.

Dr. Paul Nemir, Surgeon and Visionary

Dr. Paul Nemir, Jr., a professor emeritus of surgery who was chief of surgery and dean of the Graduate School of Medicine died on January 17 at the age of 78.

Born in Navasota, Texas, Paul Nemir graduated from the University of Texas and took his M.D. there in 1944. He interned at Graduate Hospital--then part of the Penn health system--and, after military service in World War II, returned to Graduate in 1947 to complete a surgical residency and to do research in the Harrison Department of Surgical Research on the main campus.

Named assistant professor of surgery in 1953, he rose through the ranks to full professor in 1969 while also spending five of those years as dean, in 1959-1964. In 1973 he was named the the Emilie and Roland T. DeHellenbranth Chairman of Surgery at Graduate Hospital, a chair he held until 1986. As an emeritus professor Dr. Nemir continued to write and do research at Graduate.

Dr. Nemir was known for his training of young surgeons, many of whom entered academic surgery, and for his combination of surgical practice and research. Caring for patients with a wide variety of disorders (his expertise included vascular, thoracic and gastrointestinal surgery), he shared with the late Dr. Henry Bockus the care of many patients with inflammatory bowel disease, the area in which he made some of his most significant contributions to research. Some of his seminal papers came from work on parenteral nutrition and the relationship between intestinal bacteria and intestinal disorders--one of them, in 1948, anticipating the most commonly cited pioneering work in parenteral nutrition by some 20 years. In the late 1940s, a longtime colleague recalls, he also made the observation that when the intestinal wall is affected by an illness, enteric bacteria can invade the body--a phenomenon extensively studied in the 1980s and now known as bacterial translocation.

The common denominator of his studies has been linking principles of physiology to surgical procedures--and this, his colleague said, makes him "part of a select group of visionaries in American surgery."

A member of the nation's most prestigious professional societies, Dr. Nemir was president of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery, the Pennsylvania Association for Thoracic Surgery, and the Delaware Valley Vascular Society. He also chaired the Foreign Scholar Committee of the Society of University Surgeons and served on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Nemir is survived by his wife of 50 years, Helen Powel Pratt; by three daughters, Virginia Nemir Lukefahr, Paula Nemir Atlee and Helen Nemir Hanson; and nine grandchildren. Donations to the Nemir Surgical Foundation are being accepted at The Graduate Hospital, 1100 Pepper Pavilion, One Graduate Plaza, Philadelphia PA 19142. Donations may also be made to the Quadrangle Residents Assistance Fund in Haverford PA 19041.

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 18, January 26, 1999