Constantin Cope, Radiology

Constantin “Stan” Cope, professor emeritus in the radiology department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, died on November 6 of heart failure at Spring Village at Floral Vale in Yardley, Pennsylvania. He was 89 years old.

He helped to create and develop the field of interventional radiology and invented many types of catheters still used today. He is also credited with development of the first lymphatic interventional procedure, the thoracic duct embolization.

Dr. Cope was born in Paris, France and was educated in England during the London Blitz. He earned a bachelor of science from London University and a master of business and science from Middlesex Hospital Medical School, then moved to the United States and earned a medical degree from New York Medical College.

Dr. Cope became a US citizen and was drafted into the Army as a medical officer during the Korean War. When the war ended, he completed his training as an internist at Memphis VA Medical Center.

In 1963, Dr. Cope was hired as an attending physician at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, where he served as staff physician and chief of the vascular roentgenology section in the department of diagnostic radiology. At the same time, he began to work in partnership with William Cook, who had just started manufacturing guide-wires, needles and catheters out of his apartment. Today, Cook, Inc. is one of the largest medical companies in the world and manufactures many Cope devices, such as the Cope loop drainage catheter, Cope gastrostomy set, Cope mandril wire guide and the Cope nephroureterostomy stent.

Dr. Cope joined HUP in 1986 as a lecturer in radiology and became a professor of radiology in the standing faculty, and a clinician educator in the School of Medicine, with a secondary appointment in gastroenterology in 1987. He also held a secondary appointment as professor of radiology in surgery and a clinical position with Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania (CPUP).

He retired and was named professor emeritus in 2004 (Almanac May 4, 2004). Upon retirement, he moved with his wife, Mary Grace (Heller) to Bend, Oregon.

Dr. Cope received the Society of Interventional Radiology’s Gold Medal, along with Mr. Cook, in 1999; the New York Medical College Alumni Gold Medal in 2001; and the society’s Leaders in Innovation Award in 2004. The society also created an award, the Dr. Constantin Cope Medical Student Research Award, in his honor. Its purpose is to introduce interested medical students to the greater interventional radiology community.

He authored or coauthored more than 200 scientific articles and was the lead author of 1990’s Atlas of Interventional Radiology.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Grace; three sons, Leonard, Daniel and James; two daughters, Evelyn Stainthorpe and M. Constance Cope Franckle; 10 grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Dr. Cope donated his body to science. Donations may be made in his memory to Penn Medicine, www.pennmedicine.org