University of Minnesota

Jack Strong, MD

Born: 1928

Jack Strong is a pioneer pathologist-epidemiologist of the Holman-McGill-Strong team originating in the 1950s at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. They were founders of the International Geopathology of Atherosclerosis Project and the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth Study (PDAY). Strong was particularly strong in setting up and operating from the outset the internationally standardized dissections, staining, storing, and grading of the arteries for their classic studies.

Strong was educated at the University of Alabama and received his MD from Louisiana State University in 1951, spending most of his medical career attached to that institution. He had a major formative year, 1962-63, however, at the London MRC Social Medicine Unit with Jerry Morris, pioneer CVD epidemiologist who had made the first analysis of time trends in the pathology of coronary disease at London Hospital from early century to the 1940s.

The contributions of Professor Strong and his colleagues have been seminal to thinking about the evolution of atherosclerosis and its prevention in youth. They did the earliest cross-cultural comparisons of youths dying accidental deaths, finding geographic differences (New Orleans vs. Guatemala vs. Bantu, etc.); were early in demonstrating the propensity for calcification in the LAD coronary artery and its correlation to stenosis, and its significance in relation to excess ischemia in men vs. women and whites vs. blacks.

The core of the group’s findings indicate a rapid progression from fatty streaks to raised lesions in adolescence, strong correlations to modifiable risk factors (especially LDL and smoking), and the need for primary prevention in youth. Their early findings have been largely confirmed and extended in their latter day collaborations in the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth Study (PDAY).

Strong served for years as trustee, officer, and president of the American Board of Pathology, on the Epidemiology and Biometry Advisory Committee of NHLBI, and in many academic and teaching organizations. (HB)


Marquis’s Who’s Who on the Web. ‘Jack Strong’. Available from:
[Accessed 2 January 2007].

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