Yale School of Medicine Scientist Receives Top Pathology Award

Raymond Yesner, M.D., a professor emeritus and senior research scientist in the Department of Pathology at Yale School of Medicine for more than 50 years, has been awarded the Gold Medal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.

The award, considered one of the most prestigious in the field of pathology, was presented recently at a conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Yesner joined the Yale University School of Medicine in 1946, assuming the post of chief of pathology at the school’s affiliated Veterans Hospital. Averill Liebow, M.D., a Yale pathologist who had just returned from Japan and published one of the first accounts of the medical consequences of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, stimulated Yesner’s interest in pulmonary pathology.

Yesner is a longstanding member of the International Academy of Pathology, a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and was active in the College of American Pathologists. He has written widely on the role of the autopsy in modern medical practice and stimulated an international discussion that continues today on the dangers of the decline of the autopsy in the Western world.

Yesner remains an authority on the pathology of the lung and recently completed a comprehensive atlas of lung pathology, which has since been published. He has presented at a variety of international forums on lung cancer, including the Finsen Institute in Copenhagen in 1978 and later in Tokyo and Leningrad; chaired the pathology panel of the National Cancer Institute–Veterans Administration Lung Group in 1978, and chaired the World Health Organization expert committee on lung cancer in Geneva.

In 1983 he presented to the International Academy of Pathology the new World Health Organization classification of lung tumors as well as his findings on small cell tumors of the lung, works that he subsequently published in the American Journal of Surgical Pathology.

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