HERE'S WHOSE MUG . . .
The 20 responses to our Spring 2010 Whose Mug is This? challenge came from both MD and PhD alumni spanning more than 40 years—from the Class of 1968 to the freshly graduated Class of 2010—as well as a few DMS staff members. Every one of them correctly identified Professor of Physiology Gene Nattie as the subject of our photo.
Among the respondents were two of Nattie’s DMS ’68 classmates. Bob Thurer ’68 remembered Nattie for his “football prowess” as a Dartmouth College undergrad. Bill Ramsey ’68 recalled that, “His interest in pulmonary physiology began when he and I, along with, I believe, Jack Lockhart and John Reinisch, were assigned to participate in a research project under the tutelage of Dr. S. Marsh Tenney. Gene is still working on that project decades later, while the rest of us have moved on to other fields, such as GI, rheumatology, and plastics. I recall the night when Gene went on a very propitious blind date with a nursing student named Candie. He's still working on that project, too.”
Nattie made an impression on Timothy Wu ’92 early in Wu’s medical school career. “That could only be the suave and debonair Eugene Nattie, who made an unforgettable impression on our class when he showed up at Dean Strickler’s first-year welcome party on a prancing white horse,” wrote Wu. “Unfortunately, the rest of his entrances into the classrooms and labs were of the more conventional pedestrian manner!”
Pedestrian or not, many wrote warmly of Nattie’s teaching. “He was a great inspiration to me during my time at DMS!” wrote Hannah Morgan Castrucci ’96. And Diane Melancon ’87 wrote that Nattie “made physiology enjoyable and memorable. I still remember submerging my face in ice water to learn about vasovagal syncope. I have tried to forget about the nasogastric tube I agreed to for some lesson that I have since blocked out.” Brian Paul ’08 wrote: “A dedicated and passionate instructor of physiology, he is undoubtedly one of my most memorable professors. Thanks for using his ‘mug’ in this issue of DMS Alumni News and Notes to profile one of DMS's invaluable assets.”
Hank Berger ’78 shared a more recent encounter with Nattie. “He actually popped into my head a few months ago when my Park Avenue physicians were having trouble putting together my signs, symptoms, and PFT results,” wrote Berger. “I thought of Gene and called. He remembered me as well, and we spoke as if it was just yesterday that we were both in Hanover… He was extremely generous with his time and was very helpful in getting me closer to the bottom of a complicated problem. It was lovely to reexperience the conviviality of the DMS community.”
Derrik Woodbury ’77 dated the photo as being from 1975—the year Nattie joined the DMS faculty, and Savio Cheng, PhD ’87, tagged the setting as Remsen 525. Other respondents who correctly identified Nattie were Matt Cheney ’10, PhD ’06, Christy Paiva ’06, Libby Feil ’96, Gary Winzelberg ’96, Rochelle Wagner, PhD ’95, Ariel Vitali ’94, Anna Vouros ’92, Erik Kobylarz ’91 (himself now a member of the DMS faculty) and staff members Deborah Martin, Kalindi Trietley, and Linda Martin, who noted that she has “had the pleasure of working with him in one capacity or another for more than 15 years.”
Diane Melancon closed with this tribute to a memorable mentor: “Dr. Nattie was approachable and empathic when I came to him to discuss my father’s illness. Thanks, Dr. Nattie, for doing what you do. You have touched many lives directly and indirectly through your many students.”
Two respondents—Brian Paul and Gary Winzelberg—are the winners of our drawing this time and will also have a DMS mug to remind them of this favorite teacher and mentor.