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September 25, 2007, Volume 54, No. 5
John Biaglow, Radiation Oncology
John Biaglow

Dr. John Biaglow, professor of radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine died on September 14, at the age of 70.

Dr. Biaglow was a world leader in the field of radiation biochemistry. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from John Carroll University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry from Loyola University.

He taught and performed ground-breaking research at Case Western Reserve from 1963 until 1984, at which time he moved his research enterprise to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, department of radiation oncology.

At Penn, he was promoted to full professor of radiation oncology, director of the research division in the department of radiation oncology and professor of biochemistry and biophysics. Dr. Biaglow directed the Tumor Metabolism program at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn, 1987-1996.  He published 130 articles in scientific journals and was the author and co-author of many reviews. He was instrumental in the adoption of ‘biochemical thinking’ by the Radiation Research Society (and others as well) and was particularly well-known for his understanding of the many roles that thiols play in cellular response to radiation and cytotoxins.  “His multi-colored slides including dozens of biochemical pathways served as a constant reminder of the details that most of us were missing,” said his colleague Dr. Sydney Evans, professor of radiation oncology.

In addition to his scientific pursuits at the School of Medicine, he also held Counselor positions in the Radiation Research Society and the International Society of Oxygen Transport to Tissue. He served on the NIH Radiation Oncology study section, 1991-1995. He was a consultant to numerous corporations including Immunicon Corporation, Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson and Pharmocyclics. 

“Dr. Biaglow was a mentor and friend to young scientists, many of whom have moved on to become senior scientists around the United States. The fact that many of these individuals maintained long-term professional and personal relationships with him was a testament to his influence on them.  He was prone to playing tricks on his friends and making work a lively, fun place. He was extremely dedicated to his work, always amazing others with his  broad range of scientific knowledge. He was also a great animal lover, owning many a giant breed dog that mirrored his own imposing presence,” said Dr. Evans.

Dr. Biaglow is survived by his wife, Eileen Biaglow, 9 children, and 17 grandchildren. 

“John will be sorely missed by his many human and canine friends, family and colleagues around the world.  His will be very large shoes to fill,” Dr. Evans added.

In lieu of flowers, Dr. Biaglow’s family requests that donations be made to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Radiation Oncology, identified as “John E. Biaglow Memorial Fund” and mailed to 195 John Morgan Building, 3620 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6072.

Abraham Edel, Philosophy


Dr. Abraham Edel, emeritus research professor in the School of Arts and Sciences, died on June 22 in New York City at the age of 98.

Dr. Edel was born in Pittsburgh on December 6, 1908. He studied classics and philosophy at McGill University, earning a B.A. in 1927 and an M.A. in 1928. He continued his education at Oxford and received a B.A. in Litterae Humaniores in 1930. In that year he moved to New York City for doctoral studies at Columbia University, where he completed his dissertation, Aristotle’s Theory of the Infinite, in 1934.

Dr. Edel joined the philosophy department as research professor in 1974 and served in that post until his retirement on December 6, 2001, on the occasion of his ninety-third birthday.  During his time at Penn, he participated actively in the intellectual life of the department and published ten books, among them, Ethical Theory & Social Change: The Evolution of John Dewey’s Ethics, 1908-1932 (2001), Critique of Applied Ethics: Reflections and Recommendations (1994, coauthored with Elizabeth Flower and Finbarr W. O’Connor), Aristotle and his Philosophy (1982), and Analyzing Concepts in Social Science (1978).

In 1995, he received the Herbert W. Schneider Award for contributions to the understanding and development of American philosophy from the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. He served as president of the American Society of Value Inquiry (1984) and president of the American Section of the International Association of Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (1973-75). He was an associate at the National Humanities Center (1978-79) and senior fellow at the Center for Dewey Studies (1981-82).

Before coming to Penn, Dr. Edel taught at City College, New York from 1931 until 1973, with appointment at the CUNY Graduate Center 1970-1973. In the 1930s, Dr. Edel was active in establishing the College Teachers Union, and published an account of this period as The Struggle for Academic Democracy: Lessons from the 1938 “Revolution” in New York’s City Colleges (1990).

Dr. Edel is survived by his wife, Sima Szaluta; his daughter, Deborah Edel; and three grandchildren.

A memorial service for Dr. Edel will be held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 64th St. and Central Park West, New York City, on Saturday, October 20 at 4 p.m.

Clifford Jordan, Nursing


Dr. Clifford Jordan, professor emeritus of nursing, died August 26; he was 85.

After his experiences as a medic in World War II, Dr. Jordan decided to dedicate his life to the care of others. Despite his difficulties in finding a nursing diploma program that would admit men, he persevered and went on to a successful career in nursing, administration, and teaching.

Joining Penn Nursing in 1966 as an associate professor and coordinator of the Graduate Program in Nursing Service Administration, Dr. Jordan, EdD ’57, was their first tenured male faculty member. He retired from teaching in 1984. Dr. Jordan was known for his leadership in developing the field of nursing administration as an academic discipline, and was the first director of the nursing administration program at the School. The course he developed and taught on the changing systems of care is still remarked upon as one of the most significant courses available to encourage the professional development of nurses.

In 1977, Dr. Jordan was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Nurses Association, the first man to receive such an appointment. Upon leaving university life, he went on to become the executive director of the Association of Operating Room Nurses, which was one of the largest nursing associations of the time. For all these accomplishments, the American Academy of Nursing accorded him the rare honor of being named a “Living Legend.” In addition, to honor his outstanding career in teaching and administration and his contributions to advancing the nursing profession, Dr. Jordan was awarded the Lifetime Distinguished Service Award by Penn Nursing Alumni in 2004. Previously, he had been awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1982.

Dr. Jordan is survived by his wife, Dr. Clara  Jordan, associate professor emerita of nursing.


Jim Dallett Memorial: September 29
A memorial service will be held for James Francis Dallett, retired University archivist, on Saturday, September 29, at 2 p.m. at Old St. David’s in Radnor. Mr. Dallett died on July 16 at the age of 79 (Almanac September 4, 2007).

Martin Meyerson Memorial: October 5
A University-wide memorial service will be held for President Emeritus Martin Meyerson on Friday, October 5, in the Harrison Auditorium, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, 3-4 p.m., followed by a reception.

Mr. Meyerson died on June 2, at the age of 84 (Almanac July 17, 2007). Speakers will include President Amy Gutmann, Chaplain William Gipson, Paul Miller, Dr. Nathan Glazer, Dr. Donald Stewart, Jerome Shestack, Dr. Bruce Johnstone, Dr. Vartan Gregorian, and Mr. Meyerson’s sons.

Event Celebrating Dr. Lucid: October 19
Friends, former students and colleagues will gather on Friday, October 19, at 6 p.m. in the Arts Cafe at Kelly Writers House to remember and celebrate the life and work of Dr. Robert “Bob” Lucid, who died on December 12, 2006 at the age of 76 (Almanac December 19, 2006). RSVP to For a tribute, see

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, (215) 898-8136 or e-mail

Almanac - September 25, 2007, Volume 54, No. 5