Alexander Gordon Bearn

Alexander Gordon Bearn

Alexander Gordon Bearn

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Alexander Gordon Bearn informally Alick Bearn (March 29, 1923 – May 15, 2009), a physician, scientist and author, was professor at Rockefeller University and Cornell University Medical College. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and had been Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society. He died Friday, May 15, 2009 in Philadelphia. Prior to his death Bearn was working on a family history that followed the Bearn family from Béarn, France to Angus, Scotland and finally to the United States.


Bearn was educated in England at Epsom College, and received his M.B., B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of London. He came to the Rockefeller University in 1951 and began his work on the genetics of rare metabolic diseases. He spent a sabbatical term at the Galton Laboratory at the University of London in 1958-59. In 1964 he was called to the Rockefeller University as professor and senior physician.


In 1966 he became professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at Cornell University Medical College and physician-in-chief at New York Hospital. He founded the first human genetics laboratory at the Medical College, and with colleagues at the Rockefeller initiated the joint M.D./Ph.D. program at the institutions. He remained at Cornell until 1979 when he was...
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