Dr. Joseph Stokes III, the first dean of the UC San Diego School of Medicine and an internationally known expert in preventive medicine and cardiovascular epidemiology, died of cancer Monday in Boston at the age of 64.
Stokes, born in Philadelphia, was the fourth generation of doctors in his family.
Dr. Robert N. Hamburger, his former assistant dean at the school of medicine and professor of pediatrics at UCSD, called Stokes one of the finest doctors he has ever known. Hamburger and Stokes were friends during the 18 years Stokes was on the faculty at the school of medicine.
Stokes served as dean of the school of medicine from 1964 to 1966 and was instrumental in establishing the structure and direction for the school by recruiting some of its first faculty and creating strong ties with the general science departments on campus.
In 1982, Stokes left UCSD to join the faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine. He was also co-principal investigator of the Framingham Heart Study--a project in a city in which all the inhabitants are monitored by doctors--where he worked until a month before his death.
He was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Preventive Medicine.
He served as editor of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and associate editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Stokes is survived by his wife, Ruth Whitson Stokes; sons Peter Whitson Stokes, J. Barclay Stokes and Joseph Stokes; daughter Margaret Stokes Holt, and three grandchildren.
He will be cremated and a service will be held Friday in Cambridge, Mass.