HERE'S WHOSE MUG . . .
Among the 23 respondents to our Fall 2010 “Whose Mug is This?” challenge, most had no trouble identifying Connie Brinkerhoff, the Nathan Smith Professor of Medicine and of Biochemistry and Associate Dean for Science Education.
The responses included many accolades. “Dr. Brinckerhoff was an inspiring professor—a strong woman, both in medicine and in life,” wrote Jane Auger, DMS/Brown ‘97.
“She was a hilarious lecturer, and she was my best shot at enjoying immunology,” recalled Laura Reis ’09.
Brinckerhoff was described as “a great teacher” (Andrea Mendelssohn '97); “truly one of the best: great person, great scientist!” (Ken White, PhD ’97); “MMP researcher and MD/PhD program director extraordinaire!” (Matt Cheney, PhD ’06, MD ’10), and “my wonderful PhD mentor” (Andy Mengshol, PhD ’01, MD ’03). Kandace Williams, PhD ’87, remembered Brinckerhoff’s “wisdom and mentoring advice during those sometimes challenging days (and nights) in the lab” while she was a graduate student in Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Ben Gardner ’96 commented on the “great picture of her doing what she does very, very well… research. But she was a great teacher of mine for biochemistry, and a friend/mentor, when I was at DMS.” Steve Smith ’99 added: “No better place to picture her than working away in her lab. The only thing missing in this photo is Dr. Brinkerhoff's infectious smile.”
A few respondents noted other connections to Brinckerhoff. Scott Krugman ’95, wrote that she “was known to many of us as ‘Larry's mom,’” referencing fellow student Larry Brinckerhoff ’94. “She was a great teacher and must have been extremely talented to have raised Larry. He ended up quite well and I am sure it was all her doing.” Emery Johnston, an assistant professor of medicine at DMS, recognized Brinckerhoff not only as a colleague, but also as his mother-in-law. And Mary Anne Whelan ’76 remembered Brinckerhoff’s “good dog, Hila.”
Mark Schmitt, PhD ’91, and DMS Professor of Biochemistry Dean Madden placed the photo in Brinckerhoff’s lab in Vail, as did Research Associate Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology/Immunology Alexandra Howell, who bolstered her conclusion with the observation that “based on the height of the trees in the window, I would guess it's in her lab in the Vail-Remsen building on the Hanover campus.” Joan Burnside, PhD ’81, guessed that the photo was taken “in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s when I was a graduate student in biochemistry,” while Thomas Bledsoe, DMS/Brown ’88, dated it “around 1986.” Since the photo in the DMS archives is not dated, we won’t be able to narrow it down any more than that.
Other respondents who correctly identified Brinkerhoff were Carol Edwards, PhD ’81; David Strang ’86; Lisa Gorsch, PhD ’95; Jennifer Retsinas ’96; and Deana Stearns, office manager for the DMS admissions office. Among these were the lucky winners of our drawing this time: David Strang and Lisa Gorsch!