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Catherine Ellen Poindexter Professorship in Cardiology

School of Medicine

Established in 2019 by Marilyn and Christian Poindexter in honor of their granddaughter Catherine Ellen Poindexter

CATHERINE ELLEN POINDEXTER, the beloved daughter of Scott and Mary Claire, sister of Christian and Matthew, and granddaughter of Marilyn and Chris Poindexter and Claire McKenna, died at age 24 at Johns Hopkins Hospital Sept. 21, 2017 from Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare immune condition.

Catherine was born September 14, 1993 in Jacksonville, N.C. She enjoyed many family moves due to her father’s career in the Marine Corps, which sparked a lifelong interest in traveling and adventure. She especially liked their time in Europe where she learned to ski, became fluent in Spanish, and developed a love of art.

A 2011 graduate of Severna Park High School, Catherine swam with the SPY Swim Team, and completed internships at the Severna Park Veterinary Hospital and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Catherine worked in the Aquatics program at Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation on the Susquehanna River every summer from 2009 until 2015. Eventually, she became Aquatics Director and was responsible for all pool and river activities. She was a skilled boat operator and especially enjoyed running overnight canoe camping trips.

Catherine began her college studies at Virginia Polytechnic University where she became a member of Sigma Alpha Sorority. While a Hokie, Catherine studied abroad in South Africa, worked in a research laboratory at Virginia Tech, and completed an internship at Disney University in Orlando, FL. Catherine also became a certified scuba diver and was a board member of the Virginia Tech Scuba Club. Her Capstone Project involved three months of research and rescue of endangered turtles in Costa Rica.

An avid hiker, she embarked on a weeklong trek with her father along the Appalachian Trail in The Shenandoah National Forest after earning her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in May 2016. Soon after, she began her professional career as an Animal Care and Use Coordinator (ACUC) at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda.

MARILYN and CHRISTIAN POINDEXTER are the generous donors of the Catherine Ellen Poindexter Professorship in Cardiology, named in honor of their granddaughter Catherine, who died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2017 at age 24. Their gift is a testament to Catherine’s impact on their entire family.

Mr. Poindexter graduated from the Naval Academy in 1960 and served as a Navy pilot and a Nuclear Power Officer until 1967, when he joined Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, which had recently announced plans to construct the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in southern Maryland. During the period of building and initial operation he held a number of positions in the company. He assumed the roles of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in January 1993 and served in that role until 2001.

Mrs. Poindexter graduated from Indiana University in 1959 and taught elementary school in Indiana, Florida, Texas and Maryland. She served in several philanthropic venues in the Severna Park, Maryland area during their children’s school years before returning to teaching.

Mr. Poindexter has a long history of community leadership at the local and national levels. He has served on over 40 governing and volunteer boards, including multiple terms as a trustee of Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine. He currently serves as a member of the Johns Hopkins Cardiovascular Advisory Board.

The Poindexters have traveled extensively for business and pleasure visiting over 60 countries. They recently celebrated their 59th Wedding Anniversary.

Held by Hugh Grosvenor Calkins

HUGH GROSVENOR CALKINS, MD, is Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he serves as Director of the Arrhythmia Service, the Electrophysiology (EP) Laboratory, and the Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) Program. Under Dr. Calkins’ leadership, the Arrhythmia Service has become one of the premier programs of its kind in the world.

Dr. Calkins is known throughout the world as one of the foremost authorities on atrial fibrillation (AF) and ARVC, a type of rare inherited cardiomyopathy that when left undiagnosed, can result in sudden cardiac death. Dr. Calkins played a pioneering role in the development of catheter ablation for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. His current research and teaching focuses on improving outcomes of catheter ablation and also on identifying better approaches to diagnose and management patients with ARVC. He is currently engaged in a collaboration with colleagues in biomedical engineering called ADVANCE, which seeks to apply innovative precision medicine techniques like cardiac MRI and computer simulations to development new approaches for catheter ablation to treat AF patients. Dr. Calkins founded the Johns Hopkins ARVC Program 20 years ago. The Johns Hopkins ARVC Program has grown to become the largest and most comprehensive clinical and research program focused on ARVC in the world. Much of the research focus of this program is on developing optimal approaches for diagnosing and treating patients with ARVC. He is leading several active research studies in ARVC, which include the investigation of the role of exercise in its development and progression, an international collaboration to precisely predict sudden death risk and define the relationship between specific genetic mutations and clinical features of the disease.

In addition to his research, clinical, teaching and administrative roles, Dr. Calkins is an Associate Editor of the European Heart Journal and also serves on the editorial boards of several prestigious publications including: The Journal of the American College of Cardiology; HeartRhythm, and Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology. Additionally, he is past President of the Heart Rhythm Society. Dr. Calkins has written more than 75 book chapters and has published more than 600 articles in publications including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Circulation, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Calkins attended Williams College. He received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his Medicine internship and residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his cardiology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins.