5:10 p.m., Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Salon 1-3 & Balconies
Henry D. Appelman, M.D.
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Henry Appelman was born in Chicago, a depression baby, who became more manic than depressed for the rest of his life. He spent his elementary and high school years in Clayton, Missouri; Richmond, Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. In 1954 he entered the University of Michigan as a freshman, paying tuition of $180 a year. This was such a good deal that he stayed there for medical school for $550 a year. Medical school was kind of a pain, but it gave him his MD degree and allowed him to enter the pathology residency program at the same institution where he was fortunate to train with some amazing pathologists who became his role models. These included A. James French, his chairman, a power in national pathology circles and president of the International Academy of Pathology (the predecessor of the USCAP), and of the American Board of Pathology. Jim French taught him the joy of mentoring and the importance of loyalty to institution and colleagues. Another mentor was Murray R (Gus) Abell, the diagnostic genius at
Michigan and also a former IAP and ABP president who impressed on Appelman the glories of gross and microscopic pathology and how to be creative in making up names for unnamed diseases. In honor of Dr. Abell, Appelman was made the first MR Abell Professor of Surgical Pathology at the University of Michigan, his greatest honor. Appelman was introduced to pathology of the gastrointestinal tract while serving his country in time of war at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology from 1966-68, under the tutelage of Dr. Elson B. Helwig, one of the giants of surgical pathology and perhaps the best known and most accomplished skin pathologists of his generation. At the AFIP in the 60s, skin and gastrointestinal pathology were combined into one branch, and since there were plenty of people in the branch who were skin lovers, Appelman won the bowel by default, and he and the gut have had a love affair ever since. Gastrointestinal pathology was mostly limited to surgical resections when Appelman started in the business.
As was the case for all of his contemporaries, he and fiberoptic endoscopy and endoscopic biopsies evolved together, so he learned modern GI pathology on the go. He also was expected to handle liver specimens, and he had to teach himself how to deal with those as well. He never had a fellowship or formal education in gut and liver pathology, but he managed to figure most things out, and other pathologists seem to think he found the way to truth, because they send him endless consult cases and ask him to lecture about gut stuff. In spite of his reputation, he still sees half a dozen biopsies every day about which he has no clue to diagnosis or significance.
Dr. Appelman authored or co-authored over 130 papers predominantly involving the gut, most of which were written by people who were much smarter than he and who were kind enough to include his name among the authors. He wrote chapters on the gut for various texts, and he edited or co-authored four books, including the Fascicle on Tumors of the Esophagus and Stomach for the Atlas of Tumor Pathology series with the late Klaus Lewin, one of the founders of modern GI pathology. His early publications were analyses of gastric mesenchymal tumors, including glomus tumors and stromal tumors, which were misnamed as smooth muscle tumors, back in the old days. His subsequent published studies included the colitic dysplasia-carcinoma sequence, acute infectious colitis, anorectal prolapse lesions (someone had to master these), Barrett's and cardiac carcinomas, the morphology of end stage achalasia, appendiceal chronic inflammations and neoplasms, the chronic diarrheal colitides, superficial Crohn's disease, changes in
distribution of inflammation in ulcerative colitis, and more gut stromal tumors, including those in duodenum, jejunum and ileum, abdominal colon, and anorectum. His publications also include diseases of the liver, especially post-transplant disorders.
He has presented over 250 lectures and seminars on gastrointestinal pathology throughout this country and abroad, and he has been an invited visiting professor over 40 times. He is a dedicated educator, known for his teaching excellence, enthusiasm and sense of humor. In recognition of his education accomplishments, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the Commission on Continuing Education of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists in 1999, the 2006 H. P. Smith Award for Distinguished Pathology Educator from the same society and two teacher of the year awards from the residents in his department for which he is extra proud. He has been a member of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Dysplasia Morphology Study Group, the Visiting Pathologist Panel of the Crohn's Colitis Foundation of America, the Scientific and Executive Committees of the Organization for Statistical Studies of Diseases of the Esophagus (OESO) based in Paris of which he is a past president, and the Lung and Esophagus Site Task
Force of the American Joint Committee on Cancer. He has been a member of both the Education Committee and the Council of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and is now a Past-President. He has been a member of the editorial boards of three major pathology journals and remains a member of two of them.
He is the husband of Harlene, an extraordinarily creative educator and educational administrator, the father and stepfather of five unusually accomplished adult children, their equally accomplished wives and significant others, and, most importantly, the grandfather of two obviously superior pre-adult children. In order to increase his stamina so he can play with his grandchildren, he spends endless hours on the elliptical trainer watching public television documentaries. He and Harlene travel whenever they can, attend plays and concerts in amazing numbers, feast in ethnic restaurants, some of which are unfortunately terrible, drink great wines regardless of the color, and, when they are at home, expand the fine art of cooking leftovers. Finally, they root for every University of Michigan athletic team, some of which have been awful recently.