Dr. Patricia Martin (Patty) Rodier, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) at the University of Rochester Medical School, died on Thursday, May 3, 2012. She was born on January 6, 1944, and grew up in Roanoke as the daughter of Hartwell Cornelius Martin and Katherine Allen Martin. She is survived by her husband, Robert L. Kern; son, Dr. Jeremy R. Kern, of Washington, D.C.; daughter, Dr. Rebecca L Kern, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; twin sister, Dr. Donna M. Zahorik, of Nashville, Tenn.; brother, W. Steven Martin, of St. Charles, Ill.; and their spouses and children, all of whom she loved dearly.
Patty earned her AB degree in Psychology in 1966 from Sweet Briar College, and went on to receive her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at the University of Virginia in 1970. After several years of postgraduate work at UVA, she decided to brave the northern clime and accept a faculty position in the Toxicology Department at the University of Rochester Medical School, where she taught Anatomy and continued her research in early injuries to the developing central nervous system.
Passion about her research, which most recently included major findings re the genetic causes of autism plus earlier important work on the effects of methyl mercury on early childhood development, led Patty to accept her present position as a Professor in the Research division in the OB/GYN Department. In this capacity, she was project leader for several large program project grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Along the way, she also was an important and inspiring teacher and mentor to many post-graduate students and aspiring doctors.
Her interests beyond research were many and varied. She was an avid sports fan, especially for ACC basketball and her beloved "Hoos" at the University of Virginia. She was a huge opera buff and advocate of all of the arts. She was well known in several of the designer clothing shops on Madison Avenue in NYC, and was a patron in their economic resurgence. Her love of animals is well attested by her collection of dogs over the years, including the two presently in residence at home.
Upon her death, Patty wished her body to be donated to the Anatomical Gift Program at the University Of Rochester Medical School to further medical research. A memorial service to celebrate and honor Patty's life will be held this summer at a date to be determined.
Donations in her memory can be made to Lollipop Farms in Victor, N.Y. www.lollypop.org
. or the Autism Science Foundation www.autismsciencefoundation.org
. in New York City, NY.