Elliot S. Vesell, MD
Dr. Elliot Vesell was born in New York City on December 24, 1933 and passed away on July 23, 2018. He attended primary school at the Horace Mann School at Columbia University and went on to graduate high school from Philips Exeter Academy. He attended Harvard College where he majored in American Literature and History, and graduated both Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then went to Harvard Medical School, graduating Magna Cum Laude as well.
Dr. Vesell did his postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University in New York with several Nobel Prize winners and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, the old Harvard hospital. He then met his late wife, Kristen Peery Vesell, while they were both working at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. They first visited Hershey in 1967 and moved here in 1968 where Dr. Elliot Vesell was the founding Chair of Pharmacology at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he served as chair for 32 years. He served as Assistant Dean for Graduate Education for 22 years, and was recognized as an Emeritus and Evan Pugh Professor (the University’s highest honor).
Dr. Vesell published more than 350 articles on pharmacogenomics and received many awards and honorary degrees including an honorary degree from both Penn State University and Marburg University in Germany. The genetic codes on the walls of the Penn State Institute for Personalized Medicine represent his genes. He is known as one of the godfathers of pharmacogenomics and devoted his life to the spirit of helping others. He is survived by two daughters, Liane Vesell of Boca Raton, Florida and Hilary Vesell of Hershey, PA