In Memoriam: Bernadine Healy Loop (1944-2011)

Bernadine Healy Loop, the former dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health at Ohio State University and the first woman director of the National Institutes of Health, has died of brain cancer at the age of 67. She was first diagnosed with the disease in 1996.

Dr. Loop was a native of New York City. She was valedictorian at the Hunter College Magnet High School. She went on to graduate from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, which at that time enrolled only women. She went on to graduate from Harvard Medical School.

Loop completed her medical training at Johns Hopkins University and later taught there and served as assistant dean of the medical school. In 1984 she was appointed by President Reagan as deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Policy. In 1991 she was named director of the National Institutes of Health by President George H.W. Bush.

After an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate from Ohio, she was named dean of the medical school at Ohio State University in 1995. A year later Dr. Loop learned she had brain cancer. Although undergoing cancer treatments and suffering a seizure, she continued to serve as medical dean at Ohio State for four years before leaving to head up the American Red Cross. During this period she was also the head of the American Heart Association.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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