This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.
Our Colleagues


Published: May 24, 2012

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. May 25 in St. Joseph University Parish, 3269 Main St., Buffalo, for John P. Naughton, the longest-serving dean in the history of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who died May 21 in his Cheektowaga home. He was 79.

Naughton, who served as dean for 21 years and vice president for clinical affairs for 12 years, was one of the key players in establishing UB’s innovative consortium of teaching hospitals and it was under his guidance that the school instituted aggressive new approaches to medical training for underrepresented groups. Under his leadership, renewed emphasis was placed on programs in primary-care medicine. He also developed the UB Faculty Management Plan, the precursor of UBMD, the university’s physician practice plan.

An internationally known cardiologist, Naughton joined the UB faculty in 1975 as dean and professor of medicine. He previously had served as professor of medicine and dean for academic affairs at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

He assumed the duties vice president for clinical affairs in 1984 and in 1985 was named professor of physiology. In addition to overseeing the university’s clinical affairs, Naughton served as vice chair of the Western New York Health Sciences consortium.

He was a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Physicians and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Naughton was considered an expert in the field of exercise and physical activity, and the prevention of coronary heart disease. He developed the Naughton Treadmill Protocol used in exercise testing.

Author of two books and more than 125 scientific publications, he served as editor and a member of the editorial boards of a number of professional journals.

After stepping down as dean in 1996, he returned to the UB faculty, retiring as a professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in 2009.

A native of Nanticoke, Pa., Naughton graduated from St. Louis University and received an MD from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

He is survived by his beloved partner, Nancy Glieco, a retired staff member from the medical school, and a son, Bruce Naughton, associate professor in the UB Department of Medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics.

Saxon Graham, an internationally known epidemiologist and longtime research professor of social and preventive medicine at UB, died May 18. He was 90.

Graham was among the first American researchers to focus on the links between diet and the cause and prevention of cancer, and enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a leading authority on the subject. He was the author or co-author of more than 150 scholarly articles, many of which were groundbreaking investigations of how diet impacts cancer risk—particularly notable because of the general view at that time that it was not possible to measure diet.

He was a member of the editorial boards of many of the major epidemiologic journals, including the American Journal of Epidemiology and Cancer Causes and Control.

Graham also served on major national and international advisory boards, including those affiliated with the National Cancer Institute and the World Health Organization.

He had served as president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Society for Preventive Oncology.

A native of Buffalo, Graham earned a bachelor’s degree in history and English from Amherst College, and MA and PhD degrees in sociology from Yale University. He joined the UB faculty in 1956 as an associate professor of sociology, and also served as director of community epidemiological studies and a research scientist in the Department of Statistics and Epidemiological Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. He moved from the sociology department to the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in 1966, and served as department chair from 1981 until his retirement in 1991.

The Department of Social and Preventive Medicine sponsors an annual lecture honoring Graham—the Saxon Graham Lectureship—featuring international leaders in epidemiological research.

Thomas J. Bardos, emeritus professor of medicinal chemistry who was involved in cancer chemotherapy research for more than 50 years, died May 15 in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. He was 96.

A native of Budapest, Hungary, Bardos received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Budapest Technical University and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas medical school, he identified the structure of folinic acid, a cancer chemotherapy agent still in use today.

Bardos worked as a principal scientist at the Armour Company in Chicago before accepting an appointment as a professor of medicinal chemistry in the UB School of Pharmacy.

During his 33-year career at UB, Bardos co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed chapters, papers and patents on cancer chemotherapy, including pioneering work on “anti-metabolite” chemotherapeutic drugs, chemically modified DNA as cancer therapeutics, anti-cancer drugs containing two different chemotherapeutic agents in a single molecule that he called “dual antagonists,” and anti-cancer and anti-viral RNA therapeutics that he named “anti-templates.”

He received numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer, including a Fellowship in the New York Academy of Science, the 1971 Ebert Prize of the American Pharmaceutical Association and the 1974 Jacob F. Schoelkopf Medal of the Western New York American Chemical Society. In 1983, he was elected an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Bardos retired from UB in 1993, but continued some aspects of his research until shortly before his death. He received the designations of “MRSC” from the Royal Society of Chemistry of Great Britain in 2001 and “Visionary Innovator” from UB in 2004.

In collaboration with the American Association for Cancer Research, he created the annual Thomas J. Bardos-AACR Science Education Awards program for undergraduate students in 1997. To date, the program has assisted more than 100 promising young cancer research scientists from universities throughout the United States.

A memorial service will take place at the University Presbyterian Church of Buffalo at a date to be announced.

Mendel Sachs, professor emeritus of physics, died May 5 in his home in Williamsville. He was 85.

A theoretical physicist who was a member of the UB faculty for more than 30 years, Sachs’ main research interest and publications focused on the theory of general relativity and its relation to elementary particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, as well as the philosophy of physics.

He spent his career continuing the work of Albert Einstein, and hosted a blog devoted to the ongoing debate between quantum theory advocated by Danish physicist Niels Bohr and Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

He was the author of 13 books and hundreds of publications.

A highly respected, yet unconventional figure in the international physics community, he was a highly sought-after lecturer, and was invited to speak, teach and share his theories and ideas at many of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions.

Before joining the UB faculty in 1966, Sachs taught at San Jose State College in California, McGill University in Montreal and Boston University, and held positions as a research scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at Lockheed. He retired from UB in 1997.

Sachs earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California-Los Angeles.

A funeral service was held May 7.