The Scientific Community of Philadelphia lost a loyal member on August 13 with the passing of Carmine Paul Bianchi, Ph.D., age 86, emeritus professor and former chairman of phamacology at the Thomas Jefferson University College of Medicine. Paul joined ASPET in 1966 and was a founding member of the Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society (MAPS).
Paul was born in Newark, NJ, but grew up in Maplewood, NJ, where he joined the army at age 18. He served as a surgical sergeant technician at Ft. Dix Army Hospital (1945 – 46). He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Columbia University (1950), and a master's and doctoral degree in physiology and biochemistry from Rutgers University (1956). Paul obtained an NIH fellowship (1956 – 58) and was a visiting scientist there under Dr. Abe Shanes from 1958 – 59. His muscle studies began as he became an associate member of the Institute for Muscle Disease of New York (1959 – 62). He joined the Pharmacology Department at the University of Pennsylvania (1961 – 76), leaving as a tenured professor to assume the chairmanship and tenured professorship in pharmacology at Thomas Jefferson University. He stepped down as chairman in 1987 but retained his professorship until he retired, as emeritus professor in 1999.
Paul wrote, or contributed, to three books and some 200 scientific papers in his field of research. His primary interests were the role of calcium ions in nerve and muscle action and the importance of ion channels in pharmacology and drug action. Paul was gregarious in nature, and enjoyed attending and/or presenting papers at national and international scientific meetings. At Temple University, he was a frequent visitor to our seminars and served often as external examiner of our graduate students' thesis defense. On the personal side, Paul loved to cook bouillabaisse and the Thanksgiving turkey. His faith was a strong element of his productive life; he was an Elder at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church. Surviving Paul are his second wife, Eleanor, and daughters Margaret, Alison Edwards, Judith Bianchi, and Jocelyn Agalone, four grandchildren and one great-grand child. Paul will be missed by all.