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Dr. Saul Schanberg
Internationally renowned neuroscientist and physician, Dr. Saul Schanberg, 76, died peacefully at home Friday evening after a long fight with cancer. Dr. Schanberg is globally recognized for his ground-breaking research on the importance of touch in normal growth and development, finding that specific types of touch led to better health and shorter hospital stays for premature infants. His discoveries changed the way hospitals and clinics all over the world care for premature infants. He later extended this research to other populations, including adolescents suffering from mental disorders, depressed pregnant women, and women battling breast cancer. For his work, Dr. Schanberg received numerous prestigious awards and honors, authoring more than 200 publications. Passionate about Duke and its medical programs, Dr. Schanberg made seminal contributions to the integration of science in medical education. Dr. Schanberg was also a distinguished educator who trained many neuroscientists, graduate and medical students during his 31 year career at Duke, many of whom have become prominent in their own careers. Dr. Schanberg also taught a key part of the first-year medical pharmacology course for his entire career and directed the course for a decade. He served as associate dean for curriculum at the School of Medicine for six years and on several curriculum and admission committees that helped reshape the training of future physicians. He took great joy in mentoring and forming life-long relationships with students and colleagues alike. Dr. Schanberg completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Clark University and his PhD in pharmacology and medical degree at Yale University. After an internship in pediatrics at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, he worked for two years as a research associate in pharmacology and toxicology at the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1967, Dr. Schanberg joined the Duke faculty as assistant professor of clinical pharmacology and neurology, later becoming professor of pharmacology and cancer biology, the position he held until retiring in November 2008. Dr. Schanberg was assistant director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Program for several years and held a Career Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health for much of his career. He served as chair of the Department of Pharmacology from 1988 to 1991. Saul was a warm and wonderful, high-spirited, opinionated and good humored man much loved for his infectious enthusiasm for science, his love of Duke (and Duke basketball) and most importantly his ommitment to his family and friends. He is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Rachel Schanberg (retired founder and director of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program which was started in memory of his deceased daughter Linda Schanberg Clark); and his daughter, Dr. Laura Schanberg (Associate Professor and Co-Chief Duke Division of Pediatric Rheumatology), as well as his son-in-law, Dr. Larry Eimers; and two grandchildren, Katie Eimers and Colin Eimers. He is also survived by his sister, Betty Dyer, and her husband Ira. In addition, he will be missed by numerous nieces and nephews. At Saul’s request, donations can be made to the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program ENDOWMENT in memorium, DUMC 3139, Durham, NC 27710. The family will be receiving visitors at Howerton Bryan Funeral Home, Sunday from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Memorial service will be held Monday at 2:00 p.m. at the Judea Reform Congregation on Cornwallis Road in Durham. Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home is assisting the Schanberg family. Online condolences may be submitted at www.howertonbryan.com select obituaries.
Published by The News & Observer on May 17, 2009.
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3 Entries
Dear Rachel and Family,

Michele and I were deeply saddened to return home from travels on Monday and learn of Saul's passing. We were just in time to get over to the memorial service at the Temple, but did not get to talk with you.

Saul was a great man and lived a wonderful like, blessing so many with his talents and hard work. He is now "resting with his ancestors" as the Torah proclaims. I have to imagine that somehow, Susie has welcomed him home.

We know the emptiness you must feel and we both extend to you our prayers and sympathy.

Fondly, George and Michele
George Moonan
May 20, 2009
Dear Rachel, Laura, Larry, Katie, Colin, Betty, Ira, et al,

As I said to Laura via email, Saul taught her to live fully and love with abandon, do what she is meant to do, and celebrate all as long as she can. I learned these lessons through my brief exposure to Saul and of course through Laura herself, whose sense of social justice was born of your amazing parenting. My life was changed by all of you and I will hold you all in my heart for as long as I live.

Much love,

Lisa
Lisa Paige
May 18, 2009
Rachael,
We were so sorry to hear about Saul. We know it must have been very special to have reached your 50th together. Our thoughts and love are with you and the family. The two of you have helped make Duke a better place and enriched the lives of many. We would be pleased to donate to the Duke Patient Support Program.
With much love,

Shelly and Sandy Weinbaum
Sheldon Weinbaum
May 17, 2009
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