Dr. Mark E. Molliver, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor emeritus of neuroscience and neurology, died of complications after cardiac arrest May 10 at Hopkins Hospital. The Canton resident was 75.
Colleagues said his discoveries had an impact on analyzing the structure of the brain and its response to drugs.
"Mark was one of the country's greatest neuroanatomists," said Solomon Snyder, founder and longtime director of Hopkins' department of neuroscience. "He made major discoveries about the role of serotonin," the brain molecule connected to well-being and happiness.
According to a biography supplied by Hopkins, Dr. Molliver discovered the adverse impact on the brain of the obesity drug fen-phen, which was among the factors prompting the federal Food and Drug Administration to ban it in 1997.
His research also produced important findings about the drug MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy.
His research showed that both fen-phen and Ecstasy cause neurons to die, leading to a reduction in serotonin levels.
"Mark was one of our very best teachers, extraordinarily gifted and clear," said Hopkins neuroscientist David Linden, an associate.
Born in Boston, Dr. Molliver earned a bachelor's degree and his medical degree at Harvard University. He did his residency and internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and had research fellowships in neurophysiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
Dr. Molliver came to Hopkins in 1965 and lived for many years in Roland Park.
In 1969, he became one of the first residents in the new department of neurology and joined the faculty as an assistant professor of anatomy and neurology in 1971. He retired in 2006 but continued to work and attend departmental meetings.
"Mark was tenacious and still passionate about research," said Dr. Richard Huganir, director of the neuroscience department.
He enjoyed whitewater canoeing.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. June 4 at Hopkins' Mountcastle Auditorium at the School of Medicine, 501 Wolfe St.
Survivors include a son, Derek Molliver of Pittsburgh; two daughters, Karin Molliver Tauscher of Hood River, Ore., and Erica Molliver of Washington, D.C; a sister, Judith Molliver Gardel of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; a partner, Dr. Elizabeth O'Hearn of Baltimore; and three grandchildren. His marriage to Saralynn Clark ended in divorce.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times