Brought to you by the students of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
If you spend any time in the library you’ll recognize this man: he’s practically a fixture. On any given day you’ll find Dr. Marvin “Marv” Melzer seated at a cubicle in the near left hand corner, typing away inscrutably. An otherwise unassuming fellow, he draws attention to himself by frequently asking for assistance from the computer technician, and in a library dominated by 20-somethings, he’s easy to pick out. But at “over 80” years of age, Dr. Melzer is still going strong.
An industrious scholar hailing from New York City, Dr. Melzer has earned a resume veritably packed with degrees: a Masters in Kansas, a degree in industrial hygiene at Cincinnati, a PhD at Purdue, and several post-docs with the NIH and the University of Guelph. He has held a variety of jobs as well – he’s served as a consultant to a malpractice lawyer, taught biochemistry at Case Western School of Dentistry, and everything in between.
Yet despite all of that, Dr. Melzer insists that he is still trying to keep busy. Presently, he is conducting independent research on cancer. Dealing mainly with small particles, he maintains that di- and tri-peptides are what the next wave of drugs will ultimately target. (If you’re interested, a couple abstracts can be found here: http://lib.bioinfo.pl/auid:18195550 .) He is hopeful that someone will read his work and follow up on some of his ideas, although he decries the state of research as being “too capitalistic with grants.” He argues that creativity is stifled in an atmosphere where researchers are spending all of their time scrambling for grant money. “I honestly think that in this atmosphere – Einstein couldn’t make it.” Of course, that doesn’t stop him from putting in long hours of work in the library where he outpaces most of the medical students.
What does Marv do in his free time? “I’m an artist, too,” he says with a smile. When he’s not working towards a breakthrough in cancer, Dr. Melzer spends his time drawing “faces and figures, mostly.” In addition, he recently picked up the violin, and he’s also somewhat of a mentor to young men at Delta Tau Delta Fraternity on the undergraduate campus. He sees college as “the conversion of a freshman boy to a senior man.”
His advice for medical students? “Listen to your nurses, and don’t be stingy with tests.”
The man everyone knows nothing about.
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