Thompson, Wilmer Leigh

February 17, 2005

WILMER LEIGH THOMPSON, Ph.D. MD Sc D(hc) FACP FCCM, age 66, of Charleston, S.C. died of pulmonary interstitial fibrosis on Friday, February 11, 2005 at a local hospital. Leigh was a native of Charleston, S.C. He was born June 25, 1938 to Wilmer L. Thompson EE JD and Mrs. Mary Bissell Mc Iver Thompson. Leigh attended the College of Charleston (B.S. Biology 1958, Honor Alumnus 2004), the Medical University of South Carolina (M.S. 1960, Ph.D. Pharmacology 1963, Sc D honorary 1995 and Distinguished Alumnus 1999), and the Johns Hopkins University (M.D. 1965 [Alpha Omega and Phi Beta Kappa], Osler Medical Residency, and the Society of Scholars 2003 and Medical Distinguished Alumnus 2003). In December 2003 FDA Commissioner Mc Clelland awarded him the rare Special Citation citing "His pioneering initiatives in critical care, pharmaceutical development innovations, information technology management and collaborations with regulators have been remarkable and left a sustaining positive impact on the industry, patients and the many professionals whom he has mentored." A MUSC he invented hetastarch, the most widely used substitute for blood plasma. He served at the NIH, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Case Western Reserve University Hospitals at each of which he built and directed their first Intensive Care Unit. He was President and Honorary Life Member of the Society of Critical Medicine and co-editor of the first two textbooks in this field. In 1982 he was Professor of Medicine and edited 10 medical textbooks and authored 300 scientific papers he joined Eli Lilly and Company from which he retired in 1994 as Chief Scientific Officer. Recently he lectured and consulted worldwide on drug development and research management. He was Chairman of the Board of Inspire Pharmaceuticals and a member of the boards of Bioanalytical Systems, Depo Med, Diabetogen, Guilford Pharmaceuticals, La Jolla Pharmaceuticals, Medarex and Sontra. Leigh met Maurice Horne at the College of Charleston in 1954 and they married at Grace Episcopal Church on March 29, 1957. They have one daughter, Mary Linton Bounetheau Thompson Peters, MEES, who resides in Cambridge, MA. Maurice and Leigh have published murder mysteries such as Murder at Spoleto and CN (cyanide). He was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the St. Andrews Society, the Carolina Yacht Club, and numerous academic societies. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M. at Grace Episcopal Church on Thursday, February 17, 2005. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Osler Foundation, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287. Mc Alister-Smith Down Town Funeral Chapel, 150 Wenworth St., Charleston, S.C. 29401 is serving the Thompson family.(nee Lockhart), beloved wife of the late William H. Towns; devoted mother of Jerry, Larry and the late Phillip Towns; dear sister of Jo Blan Larue, Clella York, Lunelle Ady, Harold and Arthur Lockhart; also survived by six grandchildren. Friends may call at the family owned Duda-Ruck Funeral Home of Dundalk Inc., 7922 Wise Ave. on Thursday 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 P.M. Mrs. Towns will lie-in-state in the Patapsco United Methodist Church, 7800 Wise Ave., Dundalk MD 21222, on Friday 9:30 to 10 A.M., the Funeral Hour. Interment Gardens of Faith Cemetery.

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