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In Memoriam

James W. Mackenzie

James W. Mackenzie, 90, professor and dean emeritus, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, passed away on November 27, 2015. A New Jersey memorial service is being planned.

Mackenzie joined the then Rutgers Medical School in 1969 as the first chair of the Department of Surgery, a position he held until 1996. He was also appointed chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery in 1969 and remained in that position until 2001. He retired from RWJMS in 2002.

He served as dean from 1971 to 1975. During that time, he spearheaded the conversion of the medical school from a two-year to a four-year program; established a centralized faculty practice plan; and recruited many eminent academic physicians and scientists, including several department chairs. As surgery department chair, he recruited nationally recognized academic surgeons to head the various surgical divisions. By 1989, residencies or fellowships in general surgery, orthopedic surgery, vascular surgery, thoracic surgery, urology, and colorectal surgery were approved.

Mackenzie received his medical degree in 1951 from the University of Michigan and completed his residency in general surgery and thoracic surgery at University Hospital in Ann Arbor, with a two-year hiatus to serve on active duty with the U.S. Naval Reserve in Japan and Korea. He then spent two years as an instructor at the University of Michigan before moving to the University of Missouri in 1962, where he served as as chief of the section of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery and assistant chair of the Department of Surgery.

Mackenzie wrote and was co-PI of the first successful NIH grant in the section of thoracic surgery at the University of Michigan and was PI of NIH grants at the University of Missouri and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Mackenzie was a former governor of the American College of Surgeons and authored or co-authored more than 150 articles, book chapters, and abstracts.

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