Dr. Joseph Baron passed away on September 20,2020 in Boston at the age of 82. Dr. Baron served the Department of Medicine for over 50 years and his contributions to the clinical, research and educational missions of the Department were second to none.
Dr. Baron enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago in 1954. The entirety of his subsequent career has been served at the University of Chicago except for two years as a Research Associate at the NIH. He served as Chief Resident from 1966-67, and then was appointed to faculty as an instructor in the Section of Hematology Oncology in 1967. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1970 and associate professor with tenure in 1975. Dr. Baron retired in early 2019.
As a clinician, Dr. Baron was an expert in lymphoproliferative disorders (especially cutaneous lymphomas) and coagulation medicine-both bleeding and clotting disorders as well as classic hematologic disease, including myeloproliferative disorders, hemolytic anemias and thrombocytopenic states. He served as the director of the first clinical trial of human erythropoietin in patients in 1984 in collaboration with Eugene Goldwasser and Adrian Katz. In addition to erythropoiesis, his research interests also included thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, cutaneous lymphomas and malignant atrophic papulosis. He was recognized multiple times as a Chicago magazine Top Doctor and as a Best Doctor in America.
Dr. Baron served in several leadership roles during his career including Acting Chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology, Director of UCM Hemophilia Center, and Medical Director of the Clinical Coagulation/Bone Marrow Laboratory. Dr. Baron also previously served as Chairman of the Hospital Transfusion Committee.
Dr. Baron was an outstanding educator and a remarkable role model for young physicians. He trained 100’s of medical students, residents, fellows and faculty. His educational contributions were recognized with several award including the Medical Student Basic Science Award (1981) and Senior Medical Resident teaching awards (1995, 1996). In 2016 he was named as a Senior Faculty Scholar in the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence and he was the Department’s first recipient of the Outstanding Clinical Service Award. In 2019 he was honored with the Department‘s Distinguished Service Award and the University of Chicago Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association’s Gold Key Award.
Dr. Baron was a phenomenal clinician and inspirational teacher. Most of all he was an amazing and beloved human being and friend. He will be deeply missed.