SAID--Dr. Sami I. Distinguished Professor of Stony Brook University, New York, passed away April 30th, 2013. He was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1928, trained as a medical doctor, worked at the Naval American Research Unit, and came to the USA on a Fullbright Scholarship in 1953. He began a new career at Bellevue in New York and later at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Said was Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, and Medicine and Pharmacology at Texas Southwestern. He was Chief of Pulmonary at the Dallas VA Medical Center, and then became Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Oklahoma. He then went to Chicago and directed research at the University of Illinois and the VA Hospital. He served his last years as Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Stony Brook and ACOS/Research at VA Medical Center at Northport. His research work was completely funded, and he actively pursued research for his entire career. He actually never retired. Dr. Said was an inventor and held eight US patents. He received the VA's highest scientific honor, the Middleton Award, for his discovery of the neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide, named VIP. The American Thoracic Society named him the "Amberson Lecturer" for his major contributions to pulmonary physiology and pharmacology. He is predeceased by his father, Rev. Ibrahim Said, mother Asma Atallah, and brother, Wadie ; survived by his brother, Mufeed and sister, Nadia. He will be missed by his loving nephews and nieces, Ibrahim, Mufeed, Hala, Sami, Curtis and Natalie. Dr. Said will be remembered as a great scientist, mentor, a gentleman, and a pillar to his immediate and extended family around the world.
Published in The New York Times on May 19, 2013