April 4, 2003 

In Memoriam: Founding Medical School Administrator
Allen Lein, Ph.D., 1913-2003

Allen Lein, Ph.D.

Allen Lein, Ph.D., a founding member of the UCSD School of Medicine faculty and the medical school's first associate dean for administration, died of heart failure March 26 in Austin, Texas, where he and his wife Teresa had recently moved to be near their daughter. He was 89.

A long-time La Jolla, CA resident, Lein was recruited to UCSD in 1968 from Northwestern University where he was assistant dean of graduate studies. During his tenure at UCSD he also served as associate dean for graduate studies, initiating the school's very successful and competitive joint M.D./Ph.D. program, at that time only the third such program on the west coast. He also served as associate dean for academic affairs, and as director of UCSD's Health Professions Honors Program, in addition to his teaching and research activities as a professor of reproductive medicine. He became professor emeritus in 1980 but remained involved in teaching, research and academic leadership within the school for many years.

"Dr. Lein lent his wisdom and statistical expertise to countless research endeavors in this department over more than two decades.  His humor, sensitivity and selflessness will be sorely missed by the faculty," said Thomas Moore, M.D., chairman of UCSD's reproductive medicine department.

"Allen Lein was an inspiration to the young people in our department," said Robert Resnik, M.D., associate dean of admission at the School of Medicine and former chairman of reproductive medicine department. "He was a man who truly loved science and knew how to guide the academic careers of young people. Above all, he was a gentleman, a gentle man, and a model of ethical and civil behavior."

Lein was a graduate of UCLA, earning his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in zoology, with a focus on endocrinology. He held positions at the Ohio State University and Vanderbilt medical schools before joining the physiology department of Northwestern University Medical School in 1947 as assistant professor, later becoming professor and director of student affairs before being named assistant dean. During this time he spent a year at the Laboratoire de Biochimie, College de France, as a Guggenheim Fellow.

A respected endocrinology researcher who focused his attention on the female reproductive system, in 1979 Lein authored a widely praised book called The Cycling Female: Her Menstrual Rhythm, which reviewers praised as "a beautiful book, written in a warm, comfortable style," "without sacrificing biological accuracy or detail."

Lein wrote of his book that "I wish I could state that it arose from talks with my own children, but honesty requires the admission that this is but a wish generated from hindsight. I believe that scientists have the social responsibility of communicating their knowledge, not only to each other, but also to the world. The Cycling Woman represents my first small attempt to meet that responsibility."

Lein served as an aviation physiologist in the Army from 1943 until 1946, achieving the rank of captain. His professional memberships included the American Physiological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology and the Endocrine Society. He was named an Outstanding Educator of America in 1971.

Lein is survived by his wife Teresa, his daughter Laura Lein of Austin, Texas, and his son David Lein of Berkeley, California, three grandchildren, Anna, Rebecca and David Kuipers, and a nephew, Benjamin Lein, of Los Angeles. The family is planning private services. In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to: The Allen Lein Ethics in Medicine Fund at UCSD, with checks payable to the UC Regents and sent to UCSD Health Sciences Development, Jennifer Svihus, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0696.

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Leslie Franz

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