In Memorium

 

 

Marilyn Menegus, Ph.D.
The world of clinical and diagnostic microbiology lost one of its luminaries on March 20, 2017 with the passing of Marilyn Menegus from complications resulting from colon cancer. Her family was by her side. She was born to the late Aldo and Gizella Menegus, May 17, 1943, in Passaic New Jersey. Marilyn graduated with a B.S. in biology from the College of Saint Elizabeth in 1965. She received a Ph.D. in virology from Cornell University in 1971.  After graduate school, Marilyn established the second hospital based clinical virology laboratory in New York City at Saint Luke’s Hospital. In 1976, Dr. Menegus joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester where she established a state-of-the-art clinical virology laboratory, one of only a handful in the country.    Dr. Menegus authored or co-authored numerous review articles and book chapters and published more than one hundred peer- reviewed articles.  Dr. Menegus was a longtime member of the American Society for Microbiology and the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology. She was a diplomate of the American Board of Microbiology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.   In 2013, Marilyn was presented with the Diagnostic Virology Award by the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology.  Perhaps her greatest passion was her role as director of the Post- Doctoral Training Program in Clinical and Public Health Microbiology at the University of Rochester where she mentored over forty fellows and five infectious disease fellows, many of whom became laboratory directors in diagnostic microbiology and virology throughout the country. Those of us who were fortunate enough to train under Marilyn sought her advice on laboratory medicine and life frequently and often became lifelong friends.  Dr. Pablo Yagupsky spoke for all of her former fellows when informed of her death  "She was blessed by a rare combination of critical thinking, scientific curiosity, and human kindness."  Her zest for life, enjoyment of fine food and wine, and her infectious and characteristic laugh will be missed by all who were privileged to know her.    Marilyn is survived by her brother, Herbert Menegus and his wife Catherine Batza from Washington, D.C; her nephews, Dominic Menegus and Dr. Keith Mann; nieces Claire Menegus, Lindsey Kerkela and Megan Hildebrandt. She has six great nieces and nephews. Her beloved sister, Dorothy Mann preceded her in death.

 



C. George Ray, M.D.

George Ray was a giant in the field of infectious diseases and clinical microbiology.  He had a significant impact on the field of diagnostic virology, the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (PASCV), and the Clinical Virology Symposium that spanned many decades.  In 1977, he was one of the original invited members of a small group of clinical and basic scientists that formed the Pan American Group for Rapid Viral Diagnosis (PAGRVD) whose mission was to promote the development and application of methods for the rapid diagnosis of viral infections.  This was the beginning of our current PASCV. His other contributions were numerous.

 

Dr. Ray graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and the University of Chicago School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency (Pediatrics and Infectious Disease) at the University of Washington, Seattle. He served as a Surgeon in the Epidemic Intelligence Service during the Vietnam War.

 

His academic positions included Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology, Pediatrics, and Pathology, University of Washington; Professor and Acting Head of Pathology, University of Arizona; Member and Director of Clinical Virology and Microbiology Laboratories and Acting Head, Program in Infectious Disease, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle; Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Pediatrics, Saint Louis University. After retirement, he was Clinical Professor of Pathology and Medicine and Emeritus Professor of Pathology, University of Arizona.

 

Dr. Ray received numerous awards for teaching and in the fields of microbiology and virology over the span of his career. He was a writer of 300 scientific articles and books. In addition, he was a writer and co-editor with Dr. Ken Ryan of Sherris Medical Microbiology.

 

In a kind, gentle, and reflective manner, George was always there to lend a helping hand and provide support and mentoring to others in the field.  He fully embodied the master educator, the inquisitive scientist, and the unselfish servant leader.  He was admired for his self-awareness and good-natured personality, his considerate, collaborative and positive approach, and his warmth and empathy towards others.  His joy for teaching was never more evident than when he would be called upon at the Clinical Virology Symposium to discuss a case presentation or provide his expert opinion on the subject under discussion.  His wisdom and diagnostic acumen were amazing.  He enjoyed engaging colleagues and friends in social and professional conversations, and mentored many over the years. He will be greatly missed.


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