Friday, February 19, 2010

In Memoriam

Nathan Hellman, MD, PhD


Nathan Hellman, MD, PhD Nathan Hellman, MD, PhD, a fellow in the Division of Nephrology, died Feb. 13 at the MGH following a short illness. He was 36 years old.

"Nathan was an exceptional scientist, a talented and insightful clinician and a remarkably kind and humble human being," says M. Amin Arnaout, MD, chief of the MGH Division of Nephrology. "He was well known for his famous Renal Fellows Blog, a wonderful online resource he updated daily with the latest in nephrology news and research."

Hellman was born in Houston, Texas, Dec. 8, 1973, and grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He then attended Washington University, where he earned a medical degree and a doctorate in Molecular Cell Biology.

Hellman completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and spent the following year as a Fulbright research scholar at the Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris, France. He joined the MGH in August 2007 as a clinical fellow in the Division of Nephrology. With a special interest in the study of cystic kidney diseases, Hellman was working toward the completion of his fellowship and was a member of the research group led by his mentor Iain Drummond, PhD. He was to be appointed a faculty member in the Division of Nephrology in July.

"Nate had a wonderful ease with his co-workers in the lab and a great sense of humor," says Drummond. "His creative and demanding intellect challenged all of us to be our best."

Adds Hellman's colleague Anna Greka, MD, PhD, "Nathan touched all of our lives with his warm heart and spirit, great sense of humor and remarkable intellect."

In addition to being a beloved colleague and friend, Nathan was a devoted husband, father, son and brother. He is survived by his wife, Claire; his two children, Sophie and Max; his parents, Patricia and Richard N. Hellman; and his two sisters, Susan and Catherine, and their families. A memorial service was held in the O'Keeffe Auditorium Feb. 17, followed by a reception in the East Garden Dining Room.

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