Bernard M. Wagner

Bernard Meyer "Bernie" Wagner


Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Academic Degrees

  • College: University of Pennsylvania (Guggenheim Scholarship)
  • MD: Hahnemann University Medical College 1949

Academic Positions

  • 1954 - 1955 Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
  • 1955 - 1958 Lecturer, Graduate School, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Associate Pathologist, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • 1958 - 1960 Robert L. King Chair, Cardiovascular Research, and Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • 1960 - 1966 Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology, New York Medical College, and Pathologist-in-Chief, Affiliated Hospitals, New York City
  • 1967 - 1998 Professor of Pathology, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University and Director, Division of Pathology, Delafield Cancer Hospital; Director of Pathology, Beekman Hospital (1971-1976); Director of Pathology, Overlook Hospital (1976-1986)
  • 1986 - 1998 Research Professor of Pathology, New York University Medical Center and Deputy Director, Nathan Kline Institute.


  • Philadelphia General Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, New York

Military Service

  • First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Medical Corps 1951
  • Captain 1952
  • Chief, Infectious Disease and Antibiotics Research Laboratory, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 1951 - 1953

Selected Career Highlights

  • A member of the Society of American Magicians; entertained servicemen. Recipient of a Guggenheim scholarship. President of the Undergraduate Research Society at Hahnemann Medical College. Published two papers dealing with cardiac pathology and graduated at the age of 21.

  • Recipient of the Burr Prize for best research by an intern, Philadelphia General Hospital.

  • Published a great many papers on the following subjects: cardiac pathology, especially rheumatic heart disease; "connective tissue disorders" (having been inspired by studying under Dr. Paul Klemperer at Mt. Sinai); toxicology and the effect of drugs; comparative pathology; safety assessment of drugs/toxins.

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Chief of Staff, US Air Force for the manned space program. He was the first American scientist, under the Kennedy-Khruschev Agreements, to visit Moscow (1962) for exchange of space data and returned to Moscow in 1963 and 1964.

  • Consultant to many government agencies including the NIH, EPA, NASA, CDC, DOD, and many regulatory agencies in Europe (UK, France, Germany, Sweden), Israel and Japan.

  • Member of the Operating Board of Directors, Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (1996-2001).

  • Author of over 200 papers, editorials and 13 books.

  • Beginning in 1955, he initiated the development of the specialty of toxicologic pathology with the School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania and continued with the Veterinary School of Medicine, Washington State University and Rockefeller University. He was consultant to the Animal Medical Center, NYC from 1960-1990.

  • The Symposium: "Chemical Safety Assessment: Contributions of Toxicological Pathology and Mechanistic Investigations" was convened at New York Medical College, September 22-23, 2003 in honor of Dr. Wagner's achievements. At the Symposium, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the International Academy of Toxicologic Pathology.

  • Editorial Boards:

    • First Editor in Chief of Human Pathology (1971-1988)
    • Second Editor in Chief of Modern Pathology (1988-1994) and advisor to its beginning/institution
    • Senior Advisor to the Editor of Journal of Toxicologic Pathology
    • American Journal of Surgical Pathology
    • Archives of Toxicology
    • Inhalation Toxicology and Monograph Series
    • Journal of Ultrastructural Pathology
  • President of the American Registry of Pathology (1999-2001).

  • Fellow: Royal College of Pathologists, London; Academy of Toxicological Sciences; New York Academy of Medicine; AAAS; Philadelphia College of Physicians. Honorary Member, American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Honorary Fellow, International Academy of Toxicologic Pathology.

  • Lifetime National Associate, National Academy of Science.

  • Advisor, Center for Environmental Pathology and Toxicology, AFIP (1990-2002), and member of the GRAS Expert Panel, FDA (1983-2003).

  • Gave courses at the USCAP for over 20 years on various aspects of connective tissue diseases and cardiovascular pathology. Directed the USCAP Long Course in 1966 and 1982. During his tenure as President of the USCAP, long-range plans and policies for the Companion Meetings were developed. He received the Mostofi Award in 1993.

  • Instrumental in bringing into the USCAP a great many young pathologists who would go on to leadership positions both within their Universities and the USCAP.

  • Nine of his former residents became Professors and Chairs of Pathology in major American medical Schools and one in Japan.

  • He is an avid collector of African art; an exhibition was held in December 2007 at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.


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