Eminent Physician, Scientist to Present 7th Hermann Rahn Lecture

By Lois Baker

Release Date: May 4, 1998

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Warren M. Zapol, M.D., internationally known anesthesiologist, physiologist and researcher, will deliver the 7th annual Hermann Rahn Memorial Lecture at 5 p.m. on May 7 in Butler Auditorium in Farber Hall on the University at Buffalo South (Main Street) Campus.

Zapol is Reginald Jenney Professor of Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School, chair of Harvard's Department of Anesthesiology and chief of anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

His topic will be "Inhaled Nitric Oxide: Therapeutic Targeting of the Lung."

The lecture, sponsored by the UB Department of Physiology and Biophysics, will be free and open to the public.

Zapol was educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He completed a surgical internship at Boston City Hospital and then spent three years as a research fellow at the National Heart and Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), before returning to Massachusetts General Hospital to complete his residency in anesthesiology. He has been affiliated with the hospital and Harvard ever since.

A specialist in the basic mechanisms and clinical applications of nitric oxide, Zapol has made seminal contributions on the use of inhaled nitric oxide for treating respiratory failure. Also a noted comparative and environmental physiologist, Zapol conducted the most comprehensive investigation to date into the behavior and physiological adaptations of the Antarctic Weddell seal, a diving mammal.

Adapting the techniques he developed for seals to humans, he worked with UB physiologists Suk-Ki Hong, M.D., Ph.D., and Albert Olszowka, M.D., in studies of the diving women of Korea and Japan. He also collaborated with Frederick C. Morin, M.D., chair of the UB Department of Pediatrics, on studies of the use of nitric oxide to treat newborns with persistent pulmonary hypertension.

Zapol holds several patents dealing with methods and devices for treating pulmonary vasoconstriction and related problems, and has received many national and international awards and honors for his work in both anesthesiology and physiology.

These include a Fogarty Senior International Fellowship at the NIH, Fleischner Society Lecturer and Medalist, and the Antarctic Service Medal from the Antarctic Research Program, National Science Foundation, for valuable contributions to exploration and scientific achievement.

The lecture series honors Hermann Rahn, pre-eminent scientist and physiologist, who was instrumental in defining many of the principles of respiratory physiology. Rahn was a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the UB Department of Physiology and served as chair of the department from 1956-73. He died in 1990.