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September 19, 2006, Volume 53, No. 4

Dr. Henle, Pediatrics

Gertrude Henle

Dr. Gertrude Henle, professor emeritus of virology in pediatrics at the School of Medicine, died September 1 in Newtown Square, PA; she was 94. She had been a  pioneering virus researcher at CHOP for 46 years.

Born in 1912 in Mannheim, Germany, Dr. Henle earned her medical degree from the University of Heidelberg in 1936. She met Dr. Werner Henle in Heidelberg and married him after emigrating to the U.S. in 1937. That same year, they both joined the Penn microbiology department and undertook virus research at CHOP. She collaborated with her husband in groundbreaking research at CHOP from 1941 until 1987. The National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, called the Henles “a prodigious force in virology, immunology and viral oncology during the second half of the twentieth century.”

Dr. Henle was promoted to instructor in bacteriology in 1941 and then promoted to assistant professor of virology in 1951. She became full professor in 1965. The Henles retired from the faculty in 1982 but continued to conduct research at CHOP until 1987.

In 1943, the Henles demonstrated the effectiveness of an influenza vaccine. They also developed a diagnostic test for mumps and collaborated with Dr. Joseph Stokes, Jr. in using gamma globulin to combat infectious hepatitis. Their work on viral infections laid the groundwork for scientists to later discover interferon. The Henles were particularly notable for studying Epstein-Barr virus, first demonstrating that the virus was linked to mononucleosis, and later showing that the virus contributed to two types of cancer.

Dr. Henle was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1979; at the time she was one of relatively few female members of that organization. With her husband, she received many honors, including the Bristol-Myers Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, the Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics, the Robert Koch Medaille (awarded by the German government), the Virus Cancer Program Award of the National Cancer Institute and the Gold Medal of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, awarded in 1983.

Dr. Henle has no survivors. Her husband died in 1987.

Mr. Manley, Former VP Fin. & Treasurer

Harold Manley

Harold E. Manley, former vice president of finance and treasurer, died June 18 at age 89.

Mr. Manley served Penn for 43 years, broken only by his World War II stint as first sergeant in the Army Finance Corps, 1943-46. Mr. Manley came to Penn as an assistant bookkeeper in 1938, enrolling also in Wharton Evening School, where he received a certificate of proficiency in accounts and finance just before leaving for war duty. On his return as assistant controller in 1946, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Wharton in 1951. He was appointed controller in 1954 and business manager in 1961. Two years later he became Penn’s chief financial officer on his election as vice president. The additional post of treasurer was added in 1975. Mr. Manley retired from Penn in 1981.

Mr. Manley is survived by his children, Thomas H., Constance M. Hershey, and Sally M. Helfand; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Contributions may be made in Mr. Manley’s name to Covenant United Presbyterian Church, 400 West Lancaster Avenue, Malvern, PA 19355

Mr. Merkel, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library

John Merkel

Mr. John W. Merkel, a member of the University Libraries’ staff for 43 years, died on August 27 at the age of 61.

Mr. Merkel started work in the Library in 1963 as a stack attendant and was promoted to the Current Periodicals/Microtext Desk where, as a senior library service assistant, he was responsible for overseeing the work of many student assistants over his long years of service to the University. Valerie Peña, director of the Health Sciences Libraries, comments that “Mr. Merkel is remembered by all who knew him as kind-hearted, generous and thoughtful, a loyal and diehard Flyers and Quakers fan, and a passionate lover of plants and flowers.”

Mr. Merkel is survived by his “adopted” family, Bernie and Helen Chalmers; and their children, Allyson, Bridgette, and Evan. A memorial service is scheduled for September 21 at 10 a.m. in the Class of 1955, 2nd fl. Van Pelt-Dietrich Library.

Memorial: Mr. Freedman

James Freedman

The Law School will hold a memorial service for James O. Freedman, former dean of the Law School, on October 3 at 4 p.m. in the Levy Conference Center. Mr. Freedman died March 21 (Almanac March 28, 2006). He was the dean from 1979-1982 and a faculty member from 1964-1982. RSVP to agavin@law.upenn.edu or (215) 898-9496.


To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.

Almanac - September 19, 2006, Volume 53, No. 4