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Stewart Harvey Madin

Professor of Public Health, Emeritus





Stewart Madin died at his home in Orinda, California, from complications of cancer on September 18, 2002. He was attended by his three sons: Laurence of Falmouth, Massachusetts, Kent of Bozeman, Montana, and Ian of Lake Oswego, Oregon. He has four grandchildren: Scott, Allan, Owen and Alena Madin. Stew’s lovely wife of 58 years, Katherine, died in July 2002.


Dr. Madin was born in Sheffield, England on April 13, 1918 and immigrated with his family to Canada in 1920, then to southern California in 1923. He later became a naturalized citizen. His love of animals began early in his life as exemplified by his being the world’s youngest judge, at age 15, at an American Kennel Club dog show in Pasadena. He attended Pasadena Junior College then the University of California, Berkeley where he received his B.A. in 1940. In 1943 he received his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University, and was called up for service in the Army in WWII. He later transferred to the Navy and was discharged in 1946 as a lieutenant.


His research led him to Berkeley and he held an appointment in the Department of Bacteriology in 1950. He continued his studies and received a Ph.D. in 1960. In 1961 he transferred to the School of Public Health (SPH) and Dean Charles Smith appointed him as scientific director of the Naval Biological Laboratory (NBL), an organized research unit of the SPH. At NBL he supervised 155 scientists and technicians in the field of aerobiology. During his tenure at NBL (1961-68), over 300 scientific papers were published, as well as a definitive text on the field of aerobiology. In 1962 he founded the Cell Culture Laboratory funded by the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Stew was proudest of this facility which produced highly characterized cell lines for scientists throughout the world. The laboratory had the only cell lines of various tissues from marine mammals in the world. The cell lines are still being used from a repository in Bethesda, of which the Madin cell line and certain Hela cells are the most sought after by scientists. Madin and his students conducted research on vesicular exanthema of swine virus (VESV) and developed a unique test for detection of this virus. He was involved with the Calici virus transmission from marine mammals to captive swine. His interest in diseases of marine mammals led to several field studies in the Pribilof Islands (Alaska) during the harvest of the northern fur seal. This deep interest in marine mammals eventually resulted in Madin’s volunteer work, after retirement, at the California Academy of Sciences. He was a diplomate of the California Academy of Sciences and known as the “house doctor” for the marine mammals at the academy.


Madin was a member of many professional organizations. He was chairman of Consultants for the Agriculture Research Service, consultant to the Pan American Health Organization, member of the World Health Organization Comparative Virology Section, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a diplomate of the College of Veterinary Microbiologists.


On campus Madin taught courses in pathobiology, human pathology, and general pathology. He also contributed his administrative talents in a variety of ways. He served on the Division’s Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations and several committees in the SPH. He also served as acting chairman of the Department of Biomedical and Environmental Health, acting dean of the School of Public Health, acting assistant to the chancellor, and faculty assistant to the vice chancellor.


Stew was a fascinating and interesting person. He and his wife Kay befriended many foreign students at Berkeley for decades and had close friends throughout the world. He was noted for his big ‘bear hugs’ and lively conversation. He was a self-taught pianist, and enjoyed playing duets with friends at parties. His long studies of diseases in swine prompted him to collect miniature figurines of swine and he received many from colleagues around the world. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues on campus and by many former students.



              Neylan A. Vedros

              Sanford S. Elberg

              Constantine Tempelis