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Dr. Thomas McNair Scott, Pediatric Research Pioneer

Dr. Thomas Frederick McNair Scott, a pioneering pediatric researcher and teacher, died at his home on November 25 at the age of 100.

Dr. Scott was a pioneer in pediatrics, serving as the first professor of pediatrics at Temple University from 1938 to 1940, then the first director of the Research Department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Professor of Pediatric Research at Penn where he taught for 35 years. After retirement, he moved to Hahnemann Medical School as Director of Pediatric Ambulatory Education, where he was "particularly valued for his broad historical knowledge of pediatric and infectious diseases."

Dr. Scott's contributions to medicine were many, including: the discovery and characterization of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCNV), the early use of tissue culture for growing viruses, the development of the test to identify and differentiate Herpes labialis from Herpes genitalis, and the identification of the cause of atypical measles. He was instrumental in extending the then restricted pediatric hospital visiting hours, a practice that was rapidly taken up by hospitals all over the world.

Dr. Scott was born in Inchbar, Scotland. He was brought up in the south of England, attended secondary school at Cheltenham College, and university at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he gained first-class honors in the natural sciences. He trained at St. George's Hospital, London, where he qualified in 1927.

According to his son, Dr. Robert McNair Scott, Penn Med. '66, Dr. Thomas Scott said that he made two pivotal decisions in his life: The first to visit America, which he did as a founding member of the Cambridge Medical Students Association in 1926, and which lead to a fellowship at the Thorndike Laboratory at Boston City Hospital in 1930. The second to accept a pediatric residency at the Harriet Lane Home of Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, 1931-34. As a result of these decisions, he met and married his life-long companion, a fellow scientist, Dr. Mary Dwight Baker. He was able to pursue his research interests, starting at the Rockefeller Institute in 1934, and he became an internationally revered teacher and researcher in pediatric medicine.

In 1936, Dr. Scott returned to London to be the first pediatrician to head the children's service at St. George's Hospital. In 1938, he emigrated to the U.S. to take up his position at Temple University. In 1940, he joined CHOP.

During WWII, in May 1941, Dr. Scott took a leave of absence from CHOP and returned to Great Britain to serve on the staff of the Harvard Red Cross Hospital, a public health facility in Salisbury. Later, after the U.S. declared war, he was inducted into the United States Army.

Returning to civilian life in 1946, he resumed his position as Director of Research at CHOP, which he built into an impressive organization --today known as the Joseph Stokes Research Institute. In 1959, he served as the Principal Investigator for the Philadelphia portion of theNIH Collaborative Study of Child Development and Cerebral Palsy, a longitudinal study of roughly 50,000 children, to learn what happens to children from birth to age eight. In 1975, when the study ended, he retired from Penn and took up his post at Hahnemann Medical School where he worked until the age of 85.

Upon that retirement, Dr. Scott and his wife moved into Logan Square East. "They were inveterate travelers, visiting family, and friends in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. During this period, Dr. Scott volunteered in several NIH-sponsored studies on aging. After losing his cherished partner in 1995, he continued to travel, and maintained his broad interest in current events and involvement in family and friends, with whom he enjoyed his 100th birthday last June," said his son Robert.

"He will be remembered by all who knew him as a beloved, erudite, courtly and charming gentleman, as a sensitive and exceptional clinician, a superb diagnostician, and an inspiring teacher, whose emphasis was always on the whole patient and their environment," his son added.

He is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Höhn of Heidelberg, Germany; a son, Robert McNair Scott of Kathmandu, Nepal, four grandsons, and a great granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to "Treffpunkt SHV e.V.," the daycare center for traumatic brain injured adults in Heidelberg, attended by his grandson, Peter Höhn. Checks may be made out to Carolyn Höhn for "Treffpunkt SHV e.V:" and sent to: UBSPaineWebber, Attn: Kathleen MacGregor, 100 Overlook Center, Princeton NJ 08540. Treffpunkt SHV e.V. is a registered charity.

Mr. Majumdar: Graduate Student

Anirban Majumdar, a first-year computer and information science Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science--missing since November 2--has died at the age of 25.

Prior to attending Penn this semester, Mr. Majumdar worked as a programmer analyst with Wipro Technologies in India. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology in Guwahati in 1999. Mr. Majumdar was from Calcutta, India.

He is survived by his mother, Manita Majumdar; and brother, Abhijit.




Mrs. Rubillo: Retired Accountant

Wilma Smith Rubillo, a retired Human Resources accountant, died on November 6, at the age of 69.

Mrs. Rubillo came to Penn in 1985 as a receptionist after working for El Dorado Floor Covering and Oscar Mayer Company. She became an administrative assistant in 1986, a junior account in 1987, and accountant I in 1988 and an accountant II in 1989. She worked in the Human Resources Division as an accountant II until her retirement in 1999.

She is survived by a daughter, Kathy Huff; a son, John; a brother; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Memorial donations may be sent to Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Research, Attention: Harriet Goodstein, Penn Tower, Sixth Floor, 3400 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283.

To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, call (215) 898-8136 or e-mail

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 14, December 4, 2001


December 4, 2001
Volume 48 Number 14

President Rodin has named a Philadelphia lawyer and Penn alumnus as the new vice president and chief of staff.
The Gender Equity Committee's Report on the status of women faculty at Penn concludes that problems reside primarily in individual departments rather than at the University-wide level.
The President and Provost reply to the Gender Equity Report and indicate an effort to work more closely with the deans to correct departmental inequities.
The University Council Open Forum will include topics of concern to various constituencies including staff and students.
Fire and Emergency Services has a new director with decades of experience.
The Division of Public Safety's Advisory Board makes recommendations concerning enforcement of PENNCard policies.
Dr. Thomas McNair Scott, a pioneering pediatric researcher and professor, dies at the age of 100 after an extensive career.
The new Faculty/Staff Directory is out and its cover celebrates the 125 Years of Women at Penn.
The report of the Ombudsman compares the cases of conflict handled by that office over the past several years.
Retirement Seminars will be held this week for faculty and staff who want to prepare for the future.
Flu shots will be available to faculty and staff; registration is required.
Penn's Way weekly raffles are underway; the deadline for the next one is Friday