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Douglas R. Shanklin

by Susan J. Ainsworth
April 7, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 14

Douglas R. Shanklin, 82, professor emeritus of placental and perinatal pathology at the University of Tennessee, who made major contributions to the field of fetal and neonatal pathology, died of cancer on Nov. 12, 2013.

Born in Washington, D.C., Shanklin received an A.B. in chemistry from Syracuse University in 1952 before earning an M.D.from the State University of New York’s Medical School. He finished his residency in pathology and obstetrics at Duke University, and after a two-year stint in the Navy, completed a fellowship in pathology at SUNY’s Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse in 1958.

After working as a junior investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., Shanklin served as an associate professor of pathology at the University of Florida from 1960 until 1967. He then joined the University of Chicago as a full professor and pathologist-in-chief at its Chicago Lying-In Hospital.

Subsequently, he moved to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine, where he remained from 1983 until his retirement in 2008.

Authoring four books and hundreds of medical papers, he conducted extensive research into neonatal diseases and women’s health, focusing on hyaline membrane disease, nutrition, and oxygen toxicity. He was chairman of the Agriculture Department’s National Advisory Panel for the Women’s & Infants’ Program Evaluation Study from 1979 until 1986.

Shanklin received numerous awards, and a fellowship in pathology was named in his honor at the University of Tennessee. He was a cofounder of the Society for Pediatric Pathology and of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. He joined ACS in 1997.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia; daughters Elizabeth and Eleanor Truex; son, John Carter; and three grandchildren. His daughters Leigh Dabney and Lois Virginia (Sandy) predeceased him.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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