In Memorium: Dr. Emanuel Rubin

Dr. Emanuel Rubin
1928-2021

Emanuel Rubin, an internationally recognized pathologist and leading innovator in education, died on February 13, 2021. Born in Brooklyn in 1928 and raised in Atlantic City, Dr. Rubin launched his exceptional academic career at Harvard Medical School (MD, 1954) after earning a BS degree from Villanova in 1950. He served in the Navy from 1955 to 1957, and he entered the field of pathology as a trainee in the Mt, Sinai pathology residency program from 1958 to 1962. Dr. Rubin joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in 1962 and had a rapid academic ascension to the rank of professor in 1968, and subsequently, as Chair of the Department in 1972. Dr. Rubin moved to Philadelphia in 1977 as Chair of the Department of Pathology at the then Hahnemann Medical School combined with the Medical College of Pennsylvania (later Drexel University Medical School). He moved to become Chair of the Department of Pathology at Jefferson Medical College (currently Sidney Kimmel Medical College) of Thomas Jefferson University in 1986, in part motivated by the Dean’s efforts to enhance pathology education for medical students. In 1987 he received the status of Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Rubin made seminal contributions to our understanding of liver function, both normal and abnormal. At a time when alcohol-induced liver injury was considered to be the result of nutritional deficiencies (so called “nutritional cirrhosis”), Dr. Rubin’s experiments in non-human primates and human volunteers changed the paradigm to demonstrate the hepatotoxicity of excessive alcohol consumption that was independent of nutritional status. He subsequently collaborated with scientists at the University of Barcelona to demonstrate that the cardiomyopathy resulting from alcohol toxicity was proportional to the cumulative dose of alcohol, and that liver and cardiac damage occurred synchronously. These seminal findings laid the foundation for Dr. Rubin to establish a well-funded alcohol research center at Jefferson.  Another highlight of Dr. Rubin’s career, following his arrival at Jefferson, is his rich legacy of educational contributions to the field of pathology. First and foremost is the Rubin’s Pathology textbook, the first edition launched in 1988 and now in its eighth edition. It is a global resource and has been translated into multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Japanese. Dr. Rubin is survived by his wife, Dr. Linda Haegele, five of his six children: Daniel, a pathologist; Jonathan, a radiologist; Rebecca, a lawyer; Ariel, a musician; and Ethan, a graduate student. Tragically, his oldest son, Raphael, also a pathologist and a member of our faculty, passed away in September, 2011. Dr. Rubin is also survived by multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dr. Rubin’s awards include

  • American Medical Writer’s Award for Best Medical Textbook of the Year, 1989
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Barcelona, Spain, 1994
  • The F.K. Mostofi Distinguished Service Award of U.S.-Canadian Academy of Pathology, 1996
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) MERIT Award, Bethesda, MD, 1996-2006
  • Tom Kent Award for Excellence in Pathology Education, Group for Research in Pathology Education (GRIPE), 2001
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Republic of Italy, 2003
  • Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award, Sbarro Health Research Organization, 2004
  • Distinguished Service Award, Association of Pathology Chairs, 2006
  • Gold Medal Award, International Academy of Pathology, 2006
  • Gold-headed Cane Award (research), American Society for Investigative Pathology, 2008
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Research Society on Alcoholism, 2015
  • Robbins Distinguished Educator Award, American Society for Investigative Pathology, 2018
  • Honorary Distinguished Member of Faculty Award, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem