In Memoriam

Leonard C. Harber, MD

The Department of Dermatology of the Columbia University Medical Center and its faculty, residents and staff mourn the death of Leonard C. Harber MD, the Richard and Mildred Rhodeback Professor Emeritus of Dermatology and Professor Emeritus of Public Health. He served as chair of this department from 1973 to 1988. He received the A.B. degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1949, the M.D. from NYU in 1953, and two M.S. degrees from NYU, in 1956 and 1959. In 1956-57 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Finsen Institute in Copenhagen. In 1969-1970 he was a Guest Investigator at the Rockefeller University Hospital and in 1986-1987 he was a Visiting Scholar at Green College, Oxford University. Dr. Harber was a gifted and charismatic physician-scientist, educator and clinician and one of the leading academic dermatologists of his generation. He trained numerous residents and fellows who have achieved leadership positions around the world. Under his direction the Columbia department was recognized as a global center of excellence in the area of Photobiology, a discipline focused on studying the effects of sunlight on the skin. He and his collaborators made major contributions regarding human skin diseases associated with sun exposure including cutaneous porphyria and photoallergic reactions. During his tenure, Dr. Harber created one of the major centers in the world dedicated to using artificial light sources for treating human skin diseases such as psoriasis. He pioneered implementation of out-patient ambulatory day-treatment of patients with psoriasis. In addition to his academic accomplishments Len was an avid fisherman and a passionate oenophile and gourmet who traveled the world seeking out unique culinary experiences. He was a learned man of great intellectual depth and breadth and a wonderful raconteur. He has left an indelible legacy to the department and to Columbia University. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his loving wife, Rosalyn, sons Steven Harber (Lana) and Jonathan Harber (Maria), and four grandchildren (Oliver, Sophia, Grayson and James). Contributions in his memory can be made to the Leonard C. Harber Professorship of Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, Columbia University Medical Center, 161 Fort Washington Ave, 12th Fl, New York, NY 10032. David R. Bickers, M.D. Carl Truman Nelson Professor and Chairman.

 


Read David Bickers' tribute to Leonard C. Harber in the JID HERE.