Dr. Marcos RojkindDr. Marcos Rojkind, a longtime Department of Medicine faculty member in the Marion Bessin Liver Research Center, died Saturday, September 10, 2011 of cancer.
Dr. Rojkind was an expert on hepatic fibrosis and made major insights into the role of the stellate cells in that process. At the time of his death, he was Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Pathology at George Washington University Medical Center.
His area of research was focused on the molecular mechanisms in which alcohol and its metabolites induce liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, the relationships between cell-cell and cell-matrix, the development of co-culture systems to support differentiation and survival of hepatocytes, the role of laminins in the cell surface adhesion proteins in the amalgamation of tumor invasion and metastasis, and research on drug toxicity and infection with hepatitis C.
In his most recent work, Dr. Rojkind, in collaboration with many graduate students and research associates in the United States, Italy, Japan, Belgium and especially with the support of several post-doctoral fellows from Mexico who were trained in his laboratory, solved some of the molecular mechanisms by which acetaldehyde, the first metabolite of ethanol, induces collagen production by hepatic stellate cells. He published over 140 manuscripts in scientific journals and books in the field and held several patents as an inventor of biotechnology.
Dr. Rojkind trained more than 70 trainees, including college students, masters and doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows. Despite living for many years in the United States, many of his postdoctoral fellows were graduates of CINVESTAV, UNAM, UAM, Universidad de Guadalajara, and Universidad de Durango, among others.
Dr. Rojkind had been a member of the editorial board of the journal Hepatology and the American Journal of Physiology. He was a member of the Advisory Council of the Liver Unit at the University of Yale, was a member of Section C of reviewers of grants from the National Institutes of Health NIDDK (National Institute of Digestive and Kidney Diseases); a committee member of publications of Hepatology, President of the Mexican Association of Hepatology (1985-1986), and Chairman of Spanish speakers Second Symposium held in Cocoyoc, Morelos. He was Visiting Professor (Francqui Chair) in the Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Free University of Brussels, Belgium; was a member of the grant review committee of the "American Liver Foundation” Award for Scientific Research, Mexican Academy of Sciences (1972), winner of the National Academy of Medicine, and shared the Sandoz Award (1982). He received the Distinguished
University Award given by Dr. Octavio Rivero, Rector of the UNAM, the National Science Award (1985).