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The Thomas and Dorothy Tung Professorship

School of Medicine

Established in 2010 by Thomas J.K. Tung, MD

Tung.Dorothy and TommyTHOMAS J.K. TUNG, MD, earned his medical degree from the National Taiwan University College of Medicine in 1960. After finishing his surgical residency at National Taiwan University Hospital in 1964, Dr. Tung went to Massachusetts General Hospital as a surgical fellow. In 1967, he came to The Johns Hopkins Hospital to begin a residency in Anesthesiology under the leadership of Donald W. Benson, MD, PhD. After completing his residency, Dr. Tung was appointed as assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. In 1975, he was promoted to associate professor and then, in 2001, to full professor.

Dr. Tung had a great wealth of knowledge in clinical anesthesiology, as well as basic science research. His career in research began in collaboration with John L. Cameron, MD and continued with Solbert Permutt, MD, Richard J. Traystman, PhD, and Raymond C. Kohler, PhD. Dr. Tung’s research interests included acid pulmonary injury, cerebral-respiratory interaction, venous air embolism, hypertonic saline, and brain injury. He was also engaged in animal stroke studies. Dr. Tung published more than 100 peer-reviewed research manuscripts. He also wrote three book chapters and held a United States patent for the “Train-of-Four Monitor,” an apparatus used to assess neuromuscular function in response to muscle relaxants given to patients during surgical anesthesia. Dr. Tung served as an honorary co-chairman of the Physician’s Advisory Board of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Over the years, he became an expert in the field of venous air embolism and was invited to testify as an expert witness in this area. He also made a significant contribution to the understanding of the cerebral effect of positive end-expiratory pressure ventilation.

Dr. Tung was an enormously talented clinician. He was described as “fearless” by his colleagues and over the years earned the nickname “Dead Eye Tung” from his surgical coworkers because of his unique ability to quickly localize veins for placement of IVs. He was best known for his unique approaches to solving the most challenging cases. Although his primary clinical interest was in neurosurgical anesthesia, Dr. Tung worked in nearly every area within the anesthesiology specialty. In addition to being a fantastic anesthesiologist, Dr. Tung was an effective teacher and mentor and helped many of his trainees in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine advance their careers throughout the United States.

Dr. Tung was born in May of 1934 in Taipei, Taiwan. During this time, Taiwan was under Japanese occupation. In his childhood, he witnessed air raid bombardments by United States war planes. During the depression at the end of World War II and through his graduation from medical school, Dr. Tung worked a variety of jobs including making deliveries and tutoring in order to help support his family. After completing his internship at Taiwan University Hospital in 1962, he married Dorothy. Raised in a traditional oriental home, Dorothy believed that her life was destined to be that of a wife and mother. Nevertheless, she worked as a high school English teacher and helped her husband save enough money to study abroad. She made it her life’s priority to support her husband’s career and to help their children further their education. Dorothy taught their children not to take anything for granted, to maintain a great attitude, to be patient, and to be tenacious about the things they wanted to accomplish in life.

While Dr. Tung studied in the United States, Dorothy flew with their two-year-old daughter, Jeany, and two-month-old son, Thomas, to unite with him in Boston. Their third child, William, was born in the United States. Once all of their children were in elementary school, Dorothy returned to her education and became a nurse. After graduating from the Nursing Program at the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex Campus in 1975, Dorothy worked at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. At some point in each of their lives, the entire Tung family has been associated with Johns Hopkins Medicine: William Tung graduated from the School of Medicine in 1992; Jeany Tung Lundberg completed her residency training in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine in 1993; and Thomas Tung completed his residency training in the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial Surgery in the Department of Surgery in 1998.

Dorothy retired from nursing in 2002 and spent much of her time traveling to Japan to visit her parents. In 2005, while in Japan on Mother’s Day, Dorothy was tragically killed in a car accident. Dr. Tung established the Thomas and Dorothy Tung Professorship in love and admiration for his beloved wife and to commemorate his family’s lifelong relationship with Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Dr. Thomas Tung passed at the end of December 2022.

Held by Cyrus "David" Mintz

Dr. CYRUS “DAVID” MINTZ is the current Division Chief for Neurosurgical Anesthesiology and the third occupant of the Thomas and Dorothy Tung Chair. He was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and is the son of a theoretical physicist and a German language teacher who became an organic chemist later in life. Dr. Mintz showed an early interest in the life sciences, winning both an American Heart Associate Scholarship and the Beverley B. Jones Prize for the Biological Sciences as a Senior at Ransom Everglades High School. He went on to a concentration in neuroscience at Brown University, where he earned departmental honors for work on visual processing conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Paradiso. During his undergraduate years, Dr. Mintz also acquired a love of acute care medicine while working as an EMT for the campus ambulance service. Dr. Mintz enrolled in the combined MD/PhD at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he was a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Deanna Benson. He completed doctoral work on the molecular mechanisms underlying the connection between the cell membrane and the cytoskeleton in growing neurons and also studied fetal alcohol toxicity. These experiences gave rise to a life-long interest in translational science related to the developing brain.

During medical school Dr. Mintz developed a clinical interest in anesthesiology, which quickly resulted in a complementary research interest related to the potentially harmful effects of anesthetics on the developing brain. He took a new approach to the problem by investigating the effects of anesthetics on the development of brain circuitry. Dr. Mintz went on to residency at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was inducted into the Apgar Scholar’s Society and selected as a chief resident. He completed further training as a clinical fellow in neurosurgical anesthesiology with Dr. Eric Heyer and as a T32 research fellow in the lab of Dr. Neil Harrison. During this time Dr. Mintz further developed his work on anesthetic neurotoxicity, which was recognized by awards at national meetings including the American Society for Anesthesiology, the Association of University Anesthesiologists, and the Post Graduate Assembly in Anesthesiology. Dr. Mintz started his independent laboratory at Columbia with mentorship and support from Dr. Margaret Wood and Dr. Charles Emala.

After a brief time on the faculty at Columbia, Dr. Mintz was recruited to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine by Dr. John Ulatowski and Dr. Marek Mirski, the first Tung Professor. He joined the Division of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. At Hopkins, Dr. Mintz continued his research on anesthetic toxicity in the developing brain, which resulted in a junior faculty award by the Association of University Anesthesiologists and grant funding from the National Institute of General Medicine. He has since branched out into related work investigating the effects of sedatives on brain development and the effects of anesthetics on the microbiome and the immune system. Dr. Mintz founded a fellowship in neurosurgical anesthesiology in order to enhance the training of new clinicians and encourage scholarship in this area. He began work on a new resident curriculum in neurosurgical anesthesiology and has garnered four resident teaching awards, including twice winning the Charles Beattie Award for best overall teacher. In partnership with Dr. Laurie Antonik, Dr. Mintz helped refine and reorganize clinical operations in the division, and he has taken on a departmental role as a member of the clinical operations group under Dr. Antonik’s leadership. During his time at Hopkins, Dr. Mintz has had the opportunity to further hone his clinical skills in neurosurgical anesthesiology with guidance and mentorship from Dr. Allan Gottschalk, the second Tung Professor, and with Dr. Tommy Tung himself. Dr. Mintz remains very grateful for Dr. Tung’s kindly encouragement and his seemingly endless store of clinical wisdom, as well as for the generosity of Dr. Tung’ gift to the Neurosurgical Anesthesiology Division.