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February 23, 2010, Volume 56, No. 23

A Celebration of the Life of Christopher H. Browne

The University community is invited to celebrate the life of Charter Trustee and SAS Overseer Board Chair Emeritus Christopher H. Browne, who passed away on December 13, 2009 (Almanac December 22, 2009). The event will be held on Thursday, February 25, at 4:30 p.m., in College Hall, room 200. For more information or to RSVP, e-mail ofcsec@pobox.upenn.edu.

A Celebration of the Life of Trudy Kuehner

A memorial will be held for Trudy Kuehner, former managing editor of The Annals and former interim executive director of AAPSS, on Wednesday, March 3, at 4 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Program Office, 3732 Locust Walk (directly across Locust Walk from the entrance to Huntsman Hall). In addition to the formal program, guests will be invited to share photos, stories, and other memories. Ms. Kuehner passed away October 26 from cardiac arrest, at the age of 49 (Almanac November 3, 2009).

Dr. Kaysen, Former Trustee

Carl Kaysen

Dr. Carl Kaysen, trustee of the University of Pennsylvania from 1967-1990, passed away February 8; he was 89.

As a University trustee, Dr. Kaysen chaired the Academic Policy Committee and the Honorary Degrees and Awards Committee, and served on the Executive Committee and Long-Range Planning Council. In addition, he was a member of the 250th Anniversary Commission. A resolution of appreciation for Dr. Kaysen was made in 2002, recognizing him as an honorary trustee.

Penn recognized Dr. Kaysen with an honorary degree in 1976 and the Alumni Award of Merit in 1995.

As a benefactor, Dr. Kaysen has given generously to the University supporting the Library and the Penn Museum and providing fellowships and scholarships.

Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Kaysen earned his BA from Penn in 1940. He went on to work for the National Bureau of Economic Research and Office of Strategic Services before serving as an intelligence officer in the Army Air Corps. After the war, he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from Harvard in 1947 and 1954, respectively.

During his academic career, Dr. Kaysen taught at Harvard and served as associate dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration. He also served as director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Most recently, he was the David W. Skinner Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at MIT.

Most notably, Dr. Kaysen was named deputy special assistant for national security affairs to President John F. Kennedy. While in the White House, he helped negotiate the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prevented nuclear bomb tests in the atmosphere, underwater and outer space. Following that, he was named vice chairman and director of research of the Sloan Commission of Government and Higher Education.

Dr. Kaysen is survived by his wife, Ruth Butler; daughters, Susanna and Jesse; and his sister, Flora Penaranda.

Dr. Kligman, Dermatology


Dr. Albert M. Kligman, a renowned professor of dermatology at the School of Medicine, died February 9 at age 93 at Pennsylvania Hospital of a heart attack.

Colleagues note that, “His zest permeated everything he did and affected everyone he knew, making him seem ‘larger than life’ to family, friends, colleagues, and patients.” In addition, his “exuberant personality and lust for life inspired everyone with whom he was involved. His professional achievements and contributions to enhancing the lives of others will long be remembered.”

The son of poor East European Jewish immigrants, he grew up in Philadelphia and, with assistance from Rabbi Simon Greenberg, went to college at Pennsylvania State University for his BS; there, he also captained the gymnastics team. He next earned a doctorate in botany at Penn, where he specialized in mycology and wrote a definitive book on mushrooms—Handbook of Mushroom Culture—derived from his research in the mushroom houses at Kennett Square. His first wife, Dr. Beatrice Troyan, encouraged him to become a physician as well. He trained at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where his interest in mycology led him to pursue a residency and distinguished career in dermatology.

Dr. Kligman is responsible for an array of major advances in dermatology. While he is best known for the invention of topical tretinoin (Retin-A) for acne and photodamaged skin, that contribution competes with many others such as: the PAS stain for visualizing fungi in tissue; his description of the human hair cycle, telogen effluvium (for which he also coined the term), and hot comb alopecia; his studies on the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris (eg, comedogenic properties of sebum); the maximization test for identifying new contact allergens; and the coining of the terms “photoaging” and “cosmeceuticals.” While he was conducting research on the prevention of the poison ivy rash, Life magazine portrayed him as the “Poison Ivy Picker of Pennypack Park.” Later, in France, he was named the “Pope of Dermatology.” Many of his observations debunked popular myths, such as “chocolate causes acne.” His research findings resulted in the publication of several fundamental texts—Dermatology, by Donald Pillsbury, Walter Shelley, and Albert Kligman, and Acne: Morphogenesis and Treatment and Acne and Rosacea, both by Gerd Plewig and Albert Kligman—and more than a thousand articles in major dermatologic journals. These contributions alone would mark him as a giant in the field. As such, he also experienced his fair share of controversy.

Dr. Kligman’s vision for the future of dermatology extended well beyond scientific and clinical work. As an innovative, captivating teacher, he inspired generations of researchers and clinicians. Many young researchers from around the world came to train with him and went on to become prominent figures in the field themselves.

Dr. Kligman served dermatology in many other capacities. A member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Investigative Dermatology from 1957 to 1962, he was its vice president in 1963 and its president in 1978. In 1976 he received the Stephen Rothman Memorial Award, the Society’s highest honor. Over the years, he was awarded numerous honorary degrees here and abroad, notably a doctor honoris causa from the University of Utrecht, Netherlands, and from the Heinrich-Heine-University in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Dr. Kligman lived by a philosophy that compelled him to give back. With his wife Lorraine, a PhD in developmental biology and research professor of dermatology at Penn’s School of Medicine, Dr. Kligman made many philanthropic gifts to help assure the future of education. These included major donations to institutions that gave him a chance in life: contributions to the College of Health and Human Development at Pennsylvania State University and scholarships for nursing candidates at its Mont Alto campus. In 1996, he created the Albert M. Kligman Travel Fellowships that have allowed more than 250 young dermatologists and scientists to attend the Society for Investigative Dermatology’s annual meetings. At the University of Pennsylvania, the Kligmans have endowed the Albert M. Kligman Professorship, the Albert M. Kligman Dermatology Fund to support education and research, the Sandra Lazarus Professorship to support a bright young clinician, and an annual tuition fund for four Penn medical students.

Dr. Kligman is survived by his first wife, Beatrice; and three children, Gail, Douglas, and Michael; and by Lorraine, his wife of 37 years; and two stepsons, Robert and Keith. His second wife, the artist Mitzi Melnicoff, died tragically soon after their marriage. In addition, he is survived by six grandchildren, Hannah, Ben, Ian, Annika, Justin, and Matthew; and his sister, Miriam Rubin.

Dr. Wilkerson, Nursing


Dr. Karen Buhler-Wilkerson, nursing professor, historian, author, and co-creator of an innovative care program for poor and frail elderly, died February 13 at the Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was hospitalized 10 times in the past four months for complications of ovarian cancer, first diagnosed in 2004. She was 65.

Dr. Wilkerson taught at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing from 1972 until her death. Having retired in 2006 as a professor of community health, she continued, as professor emerita, to write for scholarly journals, advise doctoral students, consult on grants and special projects, and participate in professional organizations and on advisory boards. During her illness, she completed a seminal paper published in The Milbank Quarterly on “Care of the Chronically Ill at Home: An Unresolved Dilemma in Health Policy in the United States.”  In the final months of her illness, as a recipient of intensive, sophisticated and technical care at home, she often remarked how much more she was learning about the complexities of care for the chronically ill and hoped to write further about it one day.

Dr. Wilkerson’s final paper, completed with her partner, Penn nursing professor Neville Strumpf, will be published this summer. Aptly titled “Living with Cancer,” the paper details a journey of more than five years, a story “reaffirming the centrality of expert and compassionate care, along with timely and honest communication, as crucial to the preservation of integrity, dignity, control and hope in the face of serious illness.” Dr. Strumpf described Dr. Wilkerson’s approach to her illness as “unflinching, honest, brave, and determined,” amply demonstrated by the acquisition of a rambunctious standard poodle shortly after her diagnosis, and the purchase of her dream car, a 1986 Porsche 911, following a recurrence of the cancer in 2009. Last summer, on a vacation in the Adirondacks, she joyfully demonstrated how such a machine can easily travel 100 mph over a mountain pass, added Dr. Strumpf.

“Professor Wilkerson was integral to the 20th century renaissance of research in the history of nursing and health care,” said her long-time Penn colleague, nursing professor Joan Lynaugh. She published three books and 40 articles, but is best known for her award winning book, No Place Like Home: A History of Nursing and Home Care in the United States. Fascinated by place, and its influence on the delivery of health care, Dr. Wilkerson traced home care from its earliest beginnings in 1813, by the Ladies Benevolent Society in Charleston, South Carolina, where Dr. Wilkerson spent much of her later childhood, to its reinvention with the Visiting Nurse Service, under the leadership of Lillian Wald, in New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The story culminates with the role of Medicare in the delivery of home care services, a story still unfolding today. 

Never content to convey the breadth and richness of nursing and health care history simply in publications alone, Dr. Wilkerson was instrumental in the creation of an exhibit at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia in 2003 on the past, present and future of the nurses’ uniform, for which she received a media award from the American Academy of Nursing, as well as “The Nightingale’s Song,” depicting images of nursing in posters and other artistic media at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2000. From 1995 until her retirement, Dr. Wilkerson directed the internationally renowned Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the School of Nursing, and mentored the scholarly careers of many students and colleagues.

In keeping with her views and values about care at home, Dr. Wilkerson was crucial to the founding of Penn Nursing’s LIFE program, Living Independently For Elders, which provides daily care for 500 poor and frail residents of West Philadelphia who otherwise would be placed in nursing homes. As a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), supported by Medicare and Medicaid, LIFE uses an innovative, individualized, interdisciplinary approach to deliver healthcare services in the community, including all nursing and medical care, as well as essential therapies, socialization, and palliative care. At the 10-year anniversary celebration of the LIFE Program in 2009, still the only program of its type in the United States owned and operated by a school of nursing, Dr. Wilkerson remarked that, “This is such an un-American approach to care, which remains so fragmented in the United States, but we made it our job to demonstrate that we could save money and keep people at home.” Nursing School Dean, Afaf Meleis concurred, adding that “At its launching, LIFE was a very risky thing to do, but, where there was once nothing for a vulnerable group of West Philadelphians, now there is life and hope.”

“Dr. Wilkerson was a phenomenal leader whose vision will transcend time. Her book is now considered a classic, and her contributions to home care and care of elders will help many people for years to come. The innovative LIFE program that she co-established will always be remembered as the model for care for vulnerable populations, helping elders to remain in their own homes for as long as possible,” said Dean Meleis.

Dr. Wilkerson received her BSN and MN degrees from Emory University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She twice received the Lavinia L. Dock Award for Exemplary Historical Research and Writing from the American Association for the History of Nursing (in 1989 and 2001), as well as the Agnes Dillon Randolph Award for Significant Contributions to the Field of Nursing History from the Center for Nursing Inquiry at the University of Virginia School of Nursing in 2000. She became a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 1989 and received the Emory University Alumna Award of Honor in 1990.

Survivors include Dr. Strumpf, her partner of 17 years; two sons, Jonathan and David Wilkerson, and their wives, Kerri Wilkerson and Marie Thoma; two grandchildren, Billy and Sonya; a brother, John Buhler; and her former husband, Dr. L. Douglas Wilkerson.

Contributions can be made to the Karen Buhler-Wilkerson Faculty Research Fund at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing. Checks can be made out to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and mailed to the School of Nursing, 418 Curie Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104-4217. Donations may also be made online at www.nursing.upenn.edu/history.


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 - February 23, 2010, Volume 56, No. 23