American Surgical Association Transactions

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1926 - 2018

John Bryan Price, JR., MD, 1926 - 2018

Dr. John Bryan "JB" Price, Jr., died peacefully at his home in Sleepy Hollow, New York, surrounded by family, on Sunday March 25, 2018. The cause of death was complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He was 92 years of age.

Born 1926 in Jackson, Texas, Dr. Price completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology at the University of Texas (Austin) in 1946. He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1950 and stayed on to complete his internship in 1951. A research fellowship followed at Peter Bent Brigham, Baby’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, where he was a Jr. Assistant Researcher from 1950 to 1952. Drafted into military service (1952 to 1954), Dr. Price served in the Army Medical Corps and studied advanced surgical techniques in Osaka, Japan. In 1954, Dr. Price joined Columbia Presbyterian as a researcher, and the residency program in 1956. He completed his surgical residency training in 1961 and served on the faculty of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons until his retirement in 1992 as Professor Emeritus of Surgery.

Dr. Price was highly respected as a scholar, mentor, distinguished, research scientist, and humanitarian. His research foci were hepatic regeneration and portal flow physiology. Together with Dr. Arthur B. Voorhees, Jr., he established the vascular division at Columbia Presbyterian as a premier center for the surgical treatment of portal hypertension. Their careful analyses and follow-up studies, helped to identify encephalopathy as the insidious companion to portal systemic shunting which ultimately led to abandonment of some of the techniques they had helped perfect for the cure of esophageal variceal bleeding.

Dr. Price received numerous awards and honors. He is remembered by colleagues and former students not only as a wonderful mentor and true pioneer but as a caring, approachable, soft-spoken gentleman, and a patient teacher with a sharp, dry wit. At his retirement in 1992, he was honored receiving the award of Scholar, Scientist and Humanitarian, from his colleagues, students and friends, in grateful recognitions of his thirty-one years of leadership as an educator, clinician and research scientist.

He loved music and played the oboe and recorder. He and three other Attending Physicians played quartets at Presbyterian Hospital, initially playing the oboe and later, following a bulbar stroke, the recorder.

Dr. Price said his greatest achievement was marrying Helen Burdon in 1949. She died two days short of their 63rd anniversary, in 2012. His only sibling Helen Jane Fielding, predeceased him in 2015. He leaves three daughters and seven grandchildren. He lived a full life. A friend to so many, he will be missed but not forgotten. His legacy will continue to live on.