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Joseph F. Ross, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, Emeritus

Los Angeles



Joseph F. Ross, M.D., one of the original proponents and founding members of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine, and a pioneer in the development of nuclear medicine diagnostics and therapeutic modalities, died in Los Angeles on February 25, 1999. He was 88 years old. Born in Azusa, California, Professor Ross was educated at Stanford University and Harvard Medical School. He taught at Harvard University, the University of Rochester, and Boston University before joining UCLA in 1954.

Before becoming a faculty member at UCLA, Professor Ross and his associate Dr. Clement Finch developed a desperately needed method for blood preservation that also protected the viability of red blood cells. The preserved blood was flown to battle areas all over the world during World War II to help save lives. President Harry S. Truman awarded Dr. Ross with the Presidential Certificate of Merit for this invaluable contribution to the war effort.

Following the war, Professor Ross served as associate dean and professor of medicine and radiation biology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He was named director of the Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology in 1958, and later became chief of the Division of Hematology. During the more than 30 years of his career in nuclear medicine, Professor Ross worked with the Atomic Energy Commission on several international missions. He worked closely with Drs. Stafford L. Warren, George Taplin, and Benedict Cassen in radiation ecology, and was awarded the Gordon Wilson Medal by the American Clinical and Climatological Society in 1964. Dr. Ross has served as president of the American Society of Hematology, the Western Association of Physicians, and the Southern California Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine.

Professor Ross retired in 1978 but continued his professional activities in holding office as president and chief executive officer of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine, in maintaining a consulting practice of hematology, and continued service with the Society of Nuclear Medicine. He also continued his university activities in patient care in UCLA clinics and hospitals. In 1984, Professor Ross was recognized for his outstanding, wide-ranging, and tireless contributions to the Society of Nuclear Medicine. He was also consulted on treatment of victims of the Soviet Union’s 1986 nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl.

Professor Ross is survived by a sister, Virginia Ross Geller; a son, Joseph F.S. Ross; and four daughters, Louisa Moore of Santa Monica, Elisabeth Schutz of Newport Beach, Jeanne Waite of Del Mar, and Marianne Blackmar of San Diego.


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