Myra Roseman

Hopkins Researcher Explored The Role Of Antibiotics In Treating Strep Infections And Risk Factors For Cancer

November 30, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Myra Roseman, a retired bacteriologist and research associate with the department of epidemiology at what is now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, died Nov. 21 from complications of dementia at the North Oaks retirement community.

She was 88.

Myra Goldenberg, the daughter of an engineer and homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Forest Park.

After graduating from Western High School in 1937, she was 19 when she earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and bacteriology from Goucher College.

She met her future husband on a blind date.

"I used to come up from Maryland to Goucher and try and induce her to go out, but she always said she had to study," said her husband of 67 years, Dr. Morris Roseman, a retired clinical psychologist, with a laugh.

"The war had broken out in 1941, and we had planned to marry in June of 1942, but because I might be drafted, we got married in March," he said.

After the war, the couple moved to Durham, N.C., where they lived for three years while Dr. Roseman earned his doctorate at Duke University. They later lived in Lexington, Ky., and Roanoke, Va., before returning to Baltimore in 1955.

Mrs. Roseman began her career in the early 1960s when she worked at Sinai Hospital in the laboratory of Dr. Milton Markowitz. Her work dealt with the importance of taking the full course of antibiotics to treat step throat and to avoid the consequences of rheumatic fever.

"We were colleagues in the same research unit at Sinai," recalled Dr. Harold M. Nitowski, whose specialties were metabolic diseases and genetic disorders.

"Her research related to streptococcal infection and rheumatic fever, and her work was very good. It led to a better understanding of strep infections," said Dr. Nitowski, who is retired from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y.

In 1969, Mrs. Roseman was hired as a research associate at the Johns Hopkins School of Health and Public Hygiene, now the Bloomberg School of Public Health, by Dr. Abraham Lilienfeld, who had established the department of epidemiology at the East Baltimore medical school.

Mrs. Roseman's epidemiological research focused on the efficacy of antibiotics, risk factors for various cancers, and the survival of children with brain tumors.

The former longtime Pikesville resident retired in 1984.

From 1981 to 1988, Mrs. Roseman was treasurer of S&R Investment Advisors Inc., a Baltimore-based firm that was co-founded by her husband and Mitchell Stevan, a Baltimore attorney.

Mrs. Roseman was a world traveler, and long before the relationship between the sun and skin cancer was widely known and medically proven, she protected her nose with a plastic shield.

"She entertained children and puzzled natives around the world with it," said a son, Dr. Leonard Roseman of Richmond, Va.

Mrs. Roseman enjoyed knitting, crocheting and tatting lace. She liked entertaining and was known for her desserts.

She also was an avid bridge player.

"She was a charter member of our bridge group of 12 that played every Thursday," said Betty Shulman, who had worked with Mrs. Roseman at Hopkins as a research assistant, and remained a close friend.

"Myra was very knowledgeable and knew a lot about many things such as the theater," she said.

She was a former member of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

A memorial gathering will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 17, 2010, at North Oaks retirement community, 725 Mount Wilson Lane, Owings Mills.

In addition to her husband and son, Mrs. Roseman is survived by another son, Jeffrey Roseman of Birmingham, Ala.; a daughter, Lisa Shusterman of Baltimore; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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