Friday, December 5, 2014

The Brady Centennial: 100 Years of Leadership

As the Brady enters its second century, it is wise to reflect on the title that Thomas Turner, the revered Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine from 1957-1968, gave to his book, Heritage of Excellence, which summarizes the contributions made by the early leaders of Johns Hopkins. These words serve as a constant reminder of the continuing responsibility to honor and respect these men and women whose shoulders the current generation stands, and to live up to their legacy as the Brady enters the next 100 years.

The Brady can be explored by the four directors who have led the institution since 1915. This blog will reflect on the contributions of each of these leaders.



"The Father of Modern Urology," recognized for transforming the field into a major surgical specialty.

Selected at age 27 by Halsted and Welch to run the genitourinary clinic, Young rapidly transformed a diagnostic and endoscopic outpatient field into a full-fledged branch of highly specialized major surgery. His pioneering contributions such as radical perineal prostatectomy for the cure of prostate cancer, and the simple perineal prostatectomy and the transurethral "punch" procedure for the treatment of prostatic obstruction, brought Young great fame and a new patient. "Diamond" Jim Brady was so grateful for Young's care that he funded the Institute that bears his name. Young is also credited with the discovery of mercurochrome, the first use of interstitial radiotherapy for prostate and bladder cancer, surgical correction of disorders of sexual differentiation, and surgery for posterior urethral valves. Young developed the first urology residency training program, founded the Journal of Urology and wrote the major textbook of his time. It has been said that, "The prostate makes most men old, but it made Hugh Young."


WILLIAM W. SCOTT 1946-1974

Revolutionized academic Urology by introducing basic research into residency training.

Scott, who trained at the University of Chicago with the future Nobel Prize-winning Urologist Charles Huggins, was appointed tat age 33 to be Young's successor. At the Brady, Scott introduced basic science into the field and made one year of laboratory research a mandatory part of residency training. This move was critical: in the absence of a comparable medical specialty, Urologists also had to become surgeon-scientists. Scott's contribution could not have been better timed. At the end of World War II, there were many outstanding candidates for residency positions, and soon many influential chairs would need to be filled. Sixteen of Scott's residents became chairs of those departments. One of Scott's greatest gifts to the field was recognizing and encouraging the brilliant scientist, Donald S. Coffey, PhD, the legendary director of research at the Brady for three decades. Coffey went on to educate, inspire, and mentor scores of the future leaders in the field.


PATRICK C. WALSH 1974-2004

Pioneered nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy, which rejuvenated scientific discovery in the field.

When Walsh became Director at age 36, he faced two major challenges: radical prostatectomies were rarely performed, because of excessive blood loss and unacceptable side effects; and the antiquated Brady Building needed to be replaced. After painstaking anatomic studies, Walsh developed a nerve-sparing procedure that reduced blood loss, improved continence, and made it possible to preserve potency. By 1992, radical prostatectomy became the most common treatment for localized prostate cancer in the US, and over the next decade deaths from prostate cancer declined by 40 percent. This surgical advance also provided abundant tissue for scientific investigation, galvanizing research in the field. in 1982, the Brady Institute was relocated to the newly renovated Marburg Building, a state-of-the-art facility where surgeons and scientists could work side by side. Over the next two decades, the Brady gained national recognition for excellence in research, patient care, and teaching. Eighty-five percent of Walsh's residents entered careers in academic medicine and seventeen became chairs of departments.



Inventor of the nomogram that predicted curability and leader of the Brady as it enters its second century.

An Academic All-American in football and Valedictorian of his class at the University of Mississippi, Partin came to Hopkins in 1983 and never left. He received his MD and PhD in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences under the mentorship of Don Coffey in 1989. As a Brady resident, Partin developed a nomogram, the Partin Tables, which launched a new field in prognostic prediction, helping countless patients to estimate whether they had curable disease. In 1995, he joined the faculty, and in 2004, at the age of 43, he was appointed the fourth Director of the Brady Institute. During the next decade, Partin oversaw initiation of robotic surgical programs in prostate, kidney and bladder cancer, expansion of the residency training program to three residents per year, creation of fellowships in Oncology and Sexual Medicine and Reconstruction, construction of a Woman's Pelvic Health Center at the Bayview Campus, and dedication of the Christina and Robert C. Baker Prostate Cancer Treatment Center on the eleventh floor of the Zayed Tower, the new home for the Brady inpatients.


The blog is extracted from 100 Years of Leadership at the Brady Urological Institute by Patrick C. Walsh, MD.

For more information of the upcoming centennial visit the Centennial Website.


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