JULIUS COMROE (1911-1984)
Julius H. Comroe was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1911. The son of a physician, he attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from its medical school in 1934. He began his academic career with an American Physiological Society travel fellowship in Zurich in 1938, followed by a Commonwealth Fellowship to the National Institute for Medical Research in London in 1939. He then began to teach pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1946, he became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Clinical Physiologist at the University Hospital. Comroe became an early champion of multidisciplinary teaching and research. He initiated and directed the first integrated course in the country in which all six basic science departments cooperated to give one basic science course rather than six separate courses.

Comroe left Pennsylvania in 1958 to become the Director of the newly formed Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco. Under his direction the CVRI added courses in mathematics, statistics, physics, and biophysics to the regular school of medicine curriculum and sponsored special workshops, weekly research seminars, and weekly cardiopulmonary physiology conferences. During his many years as chief of the CVRI, he became one of the most respected and admired UCSF faculty members. He received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm in 1968, and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Chicago in 1968. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a founding member of the Institute of Medicine. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, in 1971. Comroe wrote two widely used books, The Lung: Clinical Physiology and Pulmonary Function Tests, and Physiology of Respiration. Both were translated into many languages and used around the world. He was on numerous Editorial Boards, and was editor of Circulation Research, and Annual Review of Physiology.

He resigned as Director of the CVRI in 1973 to devote full time to research, teaching and writing. His leadership at CVRI created an organization with a renowned staff, successful multidisciplinary research, and a fellowship program that trained hundreds of young research scientists from many countries.

Cardiovascular Research Institute. The First Twenty-Five Years 1958-1983. University of California, San Francisco: CVRI, 1983.