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May 12, 2009, Volume 55, No. 33

Dr. Lahiri, Physiology


Dr. Sukhamay Lahiri, professor emeritus of physiology in the School of Medicine, passed away on May 2 at age 76.

Born in what now  is Bangladesh, Dr. Lahiri earned his BS, MS and PhD degrees in physiology from Calcutta University. Subsequently, he earned an additional PhD from Oxford University.

Dr. Lahiri came to the US on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1965 where he worked at the Downstate Medical Center in New York City and the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago before coming to Penn in 1969 as an associate professor of environmental physiology. He was promoted to professor of physiology in 1981.

Dr. Lahiri’s research on high-altitude physiology and medicine took him on several research expeditions to Mount Everest. Most notably, in 1960 he accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on the famous, “Himalayan Scientific and Mountaineering Expedition” better known as the Silver Hut Expedition. During this trip Dr. Lahiri took part in experiments in the Silver Hut, a temperature-controlled room where research on human acclimatization to very high altitude was conducted. The Silver Hut Expedition had a crucial effect on his career and has stimulated further research in the field of hypoxia. Dr. Lahiri also went on numerous other research trips to the Himalayas and the Andes.

A renowned scholar, Dr. Lahiri received the Humboldt Research Award for a Senior U.S. Scientist in 1997. He also earned a MERIT Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in 1996 and authored more than 120 publications.

Dr. Lahiri is survived by his wife, Krishna; 3 brothers, 7 sisters, 3 brothers-in-laws, 2 sisters-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews including Arjun, Anasuya, and Ishan.

Friends and colleagues are invited to a Hindu Sraddh Ceremony at 3 p.m.today at the family’s home, 311 Llandrillo Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Institute for Cancer Research, Department IHW1, 1759 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009.


Dr. Schwartz, Social Policy & Practice


Dr. Arthur Schwartz, lecturer in the School of Social Policy & Practice since his appointment in 1997, passed away April 17 at age 81.

Dr. Schwartz received a teaching award from the school in 2003. In addition to teaching at Penn, Dr. Schwartz held faculty positions at the University of Chicago, the University of Maryland in Baltimore and Widener University. Dr. Schwartz consulted around the world on social work practice and mental health treatment issues. He authored and co-au thored many articles and book chapters. His books include Depression, Theories and Treatments: Psychological, Biological and Social Perspectives, (with his wife, Ruth M. Schwartz) and The Behavior Therapies: Theories and Publications.

A native of Brockton, Massachusetts, Dr. Schwartz received his master’s degree from Boston University and his doctorate from Columbia University, both in social work. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. 

Dr. Schwartz is survived by his wife, Ruth; a daughter, Elizabeth; a son, David; a sister; a granddaughter; and a brother.

Donations may be made to the Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Fund, Abramson Cancer Center, 3535 Market St., Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104.


Mastroianni Symposium: May 26

The Luigi Mastroianni, Jr., M.D. Symposium on Reproductive Medicine will be held on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Biomedical Research Building II/III Auditorium. This symposium will celebrate his life and contributions to reproduction and women’s health. Presentations by colleagues, former trainees, and family will be followed by a reception. RSVP to nbernard@obgyn.upenn.edu or (215) 662-7503.

Dr. Mastroianni died on November 25, 2008 at the age of 83 (Almanac December 9, 2008).

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 record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.

Almanac - May 12, 2009, Volume 55, No. 33