Dr. R. H. Shepard, Hopkins physician, researcher dies

February 04, 1991

Dr. Richard H. Shepard, a Johns Hopkins physician and researcher who was a pioneer in the use of computers for medical research, died Wednesday at his home in Boulder, Colo. He was 69.

Dr. Shepard was professor of biomedical engineering, physiology and environmental health services, and an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, teaching and publishing papers about the physiology of the lungs.

He was the first to introduce computers to the Hopkins medical school. Computers are now considered important in researching, diagnosing and treating illnesses.

From 1961, when he began his work with biomedical computers, until 1975, Dr. Shepard headed the Medical Computing Center, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, at the Hopkins medical school.

He was a member of numerous professional societies, and the board of directors of Keswick.

Born in Tulsa, Okla., Dr. Shepard graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1943. He received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1946 and then served his internship at Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Shepard served as a lieutenant j.g. in the U.S. Navy Reserves and was on active duty at the old U.S. Naval Hospital in Annapolis from 1947 to 1949.

He returned to Hopkins as a fellow in medicine in 1950 after spending a year at the University of Pennsylvania. For a year, Dr. Shepard also held a joint appointment as a medical research fellow of the National Tuberculosis Association.

After his gradual retirement from the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health, Dr. Shepard became an associate archivist in the Medical Archives division of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

He moved to Boulder last March.

Dr. Shepard is survived by his wife, Gail; two sons, Richard H. Shepard Jr. and Joseph A. Shepard, all of Boulder, and two grandchildren, both of Baltimore.

A memorial service is being planned for later this year. Memorial donations may be made to the Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, 1620 McElderry St., Baltimore 21205.

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