Arthur M. Dannenberg

Long-time AAI member Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. (AAI ’60), a retired Johns Hopkins University (JHU) professor and researcher, died on June 15, 2018. The following remembrance, shared within the JHU alumni community by Ellen J. MacKenzie, Ph.D., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and dean of JHU's Bloomberg School of Public Health, is reprinted here with her kind permission.

I am writing with the sad news that Arthur M. Dannenberg Jr., M.D., Ph.D., passed away on Friday, June 15, after a long illness. He was 94. As many of you know, Art was a longtime faculty member, having joined Hopkins in 1964, and a renowned researcher into the pathogenesis of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Art’s research explored cellular pathways to preventing and treating tuberculosis, and he was passionate about finding new vaccines against the disease. He was affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative as well as the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research, which established a student achievement award in his honor. His work made a lasting contribution to our understanding of a disease that still, despite significant progress in saving lives through diagnosis and treatment, remains one of the top 10 leading causes of death worldwide. A graduate of Swarthmore College, Art obtained his medical degree from Harvard in 1947. He continued his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where, in 1952, he received a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in experimental pathology.

The school recruited Art to Johns Hopkins in 1964 as an associate professor of radiological health sciences, based on his promising work to develop biochemical, immunological, and pathological approaches to studying a cellular response to injury, using radiation injury as a model. In 1973, he received joint appointments in the Department of Epidemiology and Department of Environmental Health Sciences (now the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering). His lab was dedicated to using the rabbit model of tuberculosis to study the pathogenesis and immunology of the disease, as well as genetic factors and vaccine effectiveness. More than 20 postdoctoral fellows, many from Japan, trained in the Dannenberg Laboratory.

In 1976, he received a joint appointment at the school and in the School of Medicine’s Pathology Department. Before joining Hopkins, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine and was an assistant professor, from 1956 to 1964, at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine.

Art authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers and was a member of the Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Society, Alpha Chapter, and the Society for Leukocyte Biology, where, in 1984, he was awarded an Honorary Life Membership. His 450-page book, Pathogenesis of Human Pulmonary Tuberculosis: Insights from the Rabbit Model, was published in 2006 by the American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington, D.C.

A devoted teacher and mentor, Art continued to teach after he had "semi-retired" and his lab closed, including the courses "Principles of Bacterial Infections" in the Department of Medical Microbiology and "Tissue Injury, Inflammation and Repair" in what was then known as the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Art was predeceased by his wife, Aileen H. Dannenberg. He is survived by his son, Andrew L. Dannenberg, and daughters, Arlene Dannenberg Bowes and Audrey Ann Dannenberg.

All of us who worked with Art over the years were impressed by his tireless pursuit and devotion to unraveling the mysteries of one of the most important infections plaguing humans throughout history – tuberculosis. We will sorely miss his enthusiasm and devotion to medical research and to educating the next generation of scientists.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to his colleagues, students, and family.

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An AAI member for nearly six decades, Dr. Dannenberg authored more than 130 book chapters and journal publications, including nine articles in The Journal of Immunology. His career honors included: election to the Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Society; honorary life member, Society for Leukocyte Biology; special guest lecture, Inflammation Society of Japan; Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene Dean's Lecture; Johns Hopkins Immunology Council Lecture; and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health honoree, "The Pathogenesis of Tuberculosis: A Symposium in Honor of Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr."

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