Suddenly, in Taipei, Taiwan, Nai-San Wang, M.D., Ph.D., died at the age of 67. Nai-San was born in Taiwan in 1936, obtained his M.D. (B.M.) at the National Taiwan University. After a rotating internship and a year as surgical resident at the same university, and spending time as Medical Officer in the Chinese Navy, he came to the United States where he obtained further training in Surgery and then in Pathology that became his vocation. In 1967, he arrived at McGill where he finished his training in Anatomical Pathology, obtained an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Pulmonary Pathology under Dr W.M. (“Whitey”) Thurlbeck. He came on staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital and McGill in 1971, rising through the ranks to become Professor of Pathology in 1984. He was a solid diagnostic Pathologist, a dedicated teacher and a strong investigator.
Nai-San had an international reputation as pulmonary Pathologist with special expertise in transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and x-ray energy-dispersive analysis. He published extensively and was an expert on many different aspects of the normal and diseased lung and pleura, including pulmonary neoplasms and mesothelioma, the obstructive and restrictive lung diseases, neonatal problems and the effects of nicotine and cigarette smoking. He published seminal research papers on the ultrastructure of lung carcinoma and of mesothelioma, and on fluid movement in the pleura. He was frequently an invited speaker and visiting professor, and eagerly called upon for his knowledge by journal editors and research granting agencies.
Nai-San was a devoted teacher to the Medical Students at McGill, to residents in Pathology and other specialties, particularly Pulmonary Medicine, and to his fellows that he trained with great commitment. Of particular note in this respect is Dr Dean Schraufnagel, who spent two years with Nai-San Wang, and who is currently Respiratory Physician at the University of Illinois at Chicago holding professorships and appointments in both Medicine and Pathology and who maintained a long-standing collaboration with Nai-San.
After over 20 years at McGill, Nai-San left for the University of California at Irvine where he retained an Emeritus professorship. From there, in 1996 he was appointed to the position of Dean of Medicine at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, where he served two terms. After his “retirement”, he went on to become President of the Chungtai Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology in Taichong, Taiwan.
Although Nai-San will be remembered and respected for his accomplishments, mostly he will be remembered by those of us who knew him, at McGill and on the rest of the globe, as a good man, kind, gentle and calm, with always a word of encouragement and his special ability to combine optimistic and realistic philosophical views of life and the world. He was always a charming host and a faithful colleague and friend.
Dr Nai-San Wang leaves to mourn his dear wife Ruey-Suey and his children Beatrice, Annabel, Arthur and Emily.
Respectfully submitted, René Michel, Department of Pathology.