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John A. Pierce, MD

John A. Pierce, MD

Jack Pierce has been an important member of the Washington University Medical Center family for over 40 years. Upon joining the faculty in 1967, Pierce quickly became known as a teacher who took a great deal of personal interest in his patients and students and who was a tremendous role model to all.

He received his medical degree in 1948 from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in Little Rock and took an internship and subsequent residency with the United States Public Health Service. He joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in 1954 and was appointed Professor there in 1965. He was then recruited by Carl V. Moore, MD, as Chief of the Pulmonary Disease Division at the Washington University School of Medicine and served in that capacity until 1985. He also served as the Chief of the Pulmonary Disease Division at the John Cochran VA Hospital in St. Louis for 17 years, and in 1984, he was named the first Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary Disease.

Pierce’s research focused primarily on the physiology of pulmonary emphysema and the biochemistry of the lung. He pioneered the modern era of research by making some of the earliest measurements of lung connective tissue proteins, collagen and elastin. With Washington University colleagues Robert Senior, MD, Charles Kuhn III, MD, and Peter Kaplan, MD, an experimental model of emphysema was produced with elastase. The results supported the then current theory about the development of emphysema. Their model has now been studied in many medical centers around the world.

As Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine since 1993, he continues to participate in teaching, research, alumni events and campaigns. He served on the medical school’s Committee on Admissions for 15 years. He has produced nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications, of which his most recent was published in July 2007.

The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present Dr. Pierce with its Distinguished Service Award.

Published: 05/10/2008