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7.15.05 Medical School Alumnus Creates Five Scholarships

Five scholarships for third- and fourth-year medical students have been endowed through a $1 million gift from Tufts University Trustee Alfred I. Tauber, A69, M73.

The scholarship is the second in two years created at Tufts by Tauber, professor of philosophy and Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine at Boston University. The Laszlo Tauber Family Foundation contributed $1 million toward three scholarships at Tufts School of Medicine in 2003, when Tauber established them in honor of three of his medical school professors, Dr. Robert Schwartz, Louis Schuster, and Dr. B. David Stollar.

Asked why he established a second scholarship fund, he replied: "I guess we weren't done. There never seems to be enough scholarship money, especially today."

The new scholarships, to be awarded annually among five third- and fourth-year medical students beginning in 2006, are named in honor of the late Dr. William C. Moloney, A29, M32, who was instrumental in introducing the first hematology laboratories at Boston City Hospital in 1948 and taught at the medical school until 1967, and Dr. Jane F. Desforges, M45, professor of medicine emerita who trained under Moloney, and three members of Tauber's family — his mother-in-law, Erselia Fredricksen (1921–2004); his mother, Lilly Monovill Tauber Endrei (1920–1987); and his sister’s mother-in-law, Evelyn Rose Taforo (1910–2004).

Desforges has been a practicing physician, teacher, writer, researcher, and associate editor of The New England Journal of Medicine during a 60-year career. The Desforges Chair in Hematology and Oncology at Tufts School of Medicine is named in her honor. "I'm especially thrilled to have a scholarship named for me," she said. "I can't imagine anything more worthwhile. Medical school is so expensive these days."

When she graduated from Tufts in 1945, she recalled, tuition was $500 a semester. "Fortunately, my folks could afford it," she said.

Her long friendship with Alfred Tauber began when he was a clinical fellow in hematology. "Philosophy was always on his mind,” she recalled. "He's held to it and done remarkable things in that field."

Moloney had a longstanding relationship with Tufts before he joined the staff at the former Peter Bent Brigham Hospital as chief of hematology. In his autobiography, Pioneering Hematology (1997), he humorously chronicles his career first as a private practitioner in Irish Boston, and then as a specialist who essentially taught himself hematology and blood banking. By 1946, he was a clinical professor on the Tufts Medical Service at Boston City Hospital, where Desforges became his protégé. Tauber, finishing his training at Harvard, also was taught by Moloney.

Tauber recalls, "The circle was closed when I became chief of the hematology-oncology service at BCH in 1981 and asked Dr. Moloney to conduct visiting rounds periodically. He loved returning. We became close friends, and I miss him dearly."

Tauber has bridged medicine and the humanities as a professor at Boston University, where he directs the Center for Philosophy and History of Science. He is an expert in the biochemistry of inflammation, and his interests have broadened to theoretical immunology, medical ethics, and the philosophy of science. In that career shift, he has authored or co-authored six monographs, 11 edited works, and more than 100 papers and reviews. His latest book, Patient Autonomy and the Ethics of Responsibility (MIT Press), will appear in October.

The five new scholarships will be based on merit and need—which go hand in hand. The funds are to be awarded under the auspices of a foundation originally established by Tauber's father, who arrived in the United States in 1947 and was successful in real estate.