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Harry and Betty Myerberg/Thomas R. Hendrix Professorship in Gastroenterology

School of Medicine

Established in 2008 by a gift from Harry Myerberg and by gifts made in honor of Thomas R. Hendrix


HendrixThomasTHOMAS R. HENDRIX, Med 1951, became the first full-time director of gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins six years after receiving his medical degree, a position he held until 1988. He contributed significantly to the division’s longstanding reputation as one of the world’s leading resources for the research and care of gastrointestinal disorders. Throughout his tenure at Hopkins, Dr. Hendrix mentored many students, colleagues, and investigators. He is also widely recognized as one of the first investigators to demonstrate the value of the gluten-free diet. Dr. Hendrix is currently an Emeritus Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Emeritus Director of the Division of Gastroenterology.


HARRY and BETTY MYERBERG were both born into vibrant Baltimore families. Harry Myerberg (b. 1908) was the sixth child of nine born to Nathan and Anna Debovsky Myerberg. Betty Myerberg (b. 1914) was the fifth child of seven born to Louis and Rebecca Skolkin.

Harry Myerberg graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1925. His life long interest and devotion to Johns Hopkins University was fostered as a student there for three years. He left to pursue his interest in theater and worked for Warner Brothers in New York. In 1936, Harry returned to Baltimore to work in the family real estate development business, N.J. Myerberg and Sons.

This move initiated an enormously successful career as one of the Baltimore areas leading builders and developers of apartments, townhouses, and single family dwellings. Shopping centers and retirement communities enhanced his portfolio of visionary projects. Harry was a pioneer in formulating the need for moderate and low income housing. In the 1960’s, the federal government recognized his talents, inviting him to serve as an advisor to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He worked until his death.

Harry’s life was enriched by his beautiful and caring wife Betty. A lifelong love and altruism marked their remarkable life together. Betty, always elegant, was a fashion and photographic model. During World War II, she served as a volunteer at Fort Meade, and founded the “Candy Stripers,” a service adjunct at Sinai Hospital. Betty was also a leader on the Boards of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Opera and the Walters Art Gallery. She and Harry were the parents of two daughters, Elizabeth and Nancy.  Betty died in 2001, Harry in 2006. Their daughters proudly carry on their parents’ legacy of philanthropy.

Together, Harry and Betty shared a passion for Johns Hopkins Medicine and for the excellence of its doctors, clinical care, and scientific research. Their respect for its advancement in every aspect of care led them on an on-going path of providing support. Grateful for their own experiences at Hopkins, it was their mission to dedicate resources to assure that future generations of doctors, patients and researchers would benefit from their generosity.

Their contributions to Hopkins are legendary. It is to their credit that they chose throughout their lives, to instill their love and dedication to Hopkins. Their family, Elizabeth and Richard Dubin and Nancy and Harold Zirkin fulfill their wish to continue their significant philanthropy through the establishment of The Harry and Betty Myerberg / Thomas R. Hendrix Professorship in Gastroenterology.

Held by Stephen J. Meltzer

MeltzerStephenSTEPHEN J. MELTZER, MD, the inaugural Harry and Betty Myerberg/Thomas R. Hendrix Professor of Gastroenterology, is a recognized leader in tumor genetics of the digestive tract. He joined Hopkins in 2006 after 18 years on the faculty at the University of Maryland Medical School. He is considered the international leader in the molecular genetics of esophageal carcinogenesis, and performed groundbreaking studies in gastric and colorectal carcinogenesis and premalignant ulcerative colitis. He is the world’s acknowledged leader in applying genomics to esophageal carcinogenesis. Dr. Meltzer has published or has in press 151 original articles and holds several patent applications.