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In-Memoriam: Norman Howard Bell, M.D.

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It is with great sadness that ASBMR announces the passing of Norman Howard Bell, M.D., professor emeritus at the Medical University of South Carolina and founding member of ASBMR, on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at the age of 86. He will be remembered for his keen intellect, traditional values, and remarkable research success. Supported through continuous grants from the NIH, he and his colleagues made great strides in the fundamental understanding of Vitamin D deficiencies and the prevention of osteoporosis. In addition to his research, Dr. Bell mentored young people who are carrying on the research that he initiated. Join us in recognizing Dr. Bell’s contributions to our field by leaving a note, sharing a memory below, or contributing a donation in his honor.

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Guest Hunter Heath

The Founding Fathers of ASBMR and the modern era of metabolic bone and calcium research are leaving us, but their findings and the ground they prepared for the rest of us will live on. I hope the scientists and physicians behind us don't forget the giants on whose shoulders they stand.

Hunter Heath, MD

Indiana University School of Medicine

Indianapolis

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Guest Nicola Partridge

I spent quite a bit of time with Norman over the years, either with ASBMR on its first Advocacy Committee or the Association of Osteobiology as the Secretary-Treasurer (I think he was the President). He was always such a kind, gentle and generous person. He was a wonderful host to me in Charleston, and I was quoting recently the terrific evening when he and Ledley took me to an oyster shack in the marshes where we ate oysters freshly dug from the marsh. He will be missed. My sincerest condolences to Ledley and family.

 

Nicky Partridge

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Guest Guest

Here are some photographs from 1986, 1991 and 1997. He was a leading scientist and also had a good sense of humor.

Susan Ott

 

conference%2B1986.jpgASBMR%2B1991.jpgInvestigator%2Bmeeting%2B1997.jpg

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Guest Yair Liel

I’ve spent a 2 years research fellowship with Norman Bell during the mid 1980s. Besides his, kind, honest, gentle and unassuming personality, he was an excellent, very systematic scientist, probably best known for his groundbreaking studies on the interactions between race, body mass and vitamin D-PTH endocrine system, for studies on extra-renal vitamin D activation in granulomatous diseases and other pioneering studies on various aspects of calcium and mineral metabolism. He used to say that in planning a research one should envision the tables and figures at the end, an almost banal advice, but so essential for an unexperienced researcher, which I carried throughout my modest career. I remember Norman Bell meticulously sitting behind his desk in his always opened-door office, writing research proposals, and with the same strictness reviewing others’ research proposals, preparing abstracts for presentations and devoting hours on end cultivating the newly established ASBMR and JBMR. He was excited as a kid when he obtained new equipment, a computerized database, first dual-photon densitometer, his enthusiasm when he realized that the graphs drawn by the new Macintosh computer and laser printer were as good as the ones he carefully drew himself. I didn’t see Norman bell much since then, but I always carry his very unique, humane and scientific, personality in my heart.

Yair Liel

Beer-Sheva, Israel

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