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The Passing of Daniel H. Present, MD

Wednesday, January 13, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Andrew Law
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FROM:            Kenneth L. Davis, MD

            President and Chief Executive Officer

            Mount Sinai Health System


            Dennis S. Charney, MD
            Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean

            Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

President for Academic Affairs
Mount Sinai Health System


Barbara Murphy, MD

Chair, Department of Medicine

Mount Sinai Health System

Dean of Clinical Integration and Population Health

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Bruce E. Sands, MD, MS

Chief, The Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


It is with deep sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of Daniel H. Present, MD, who in a five-decade career at Mount Sinai was at the forefront of research into the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).


Dr. Present was the first researcher to show the effectiveness of an immunosuppressant, 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), in fighting Crohn’s disease. It was known at the time that Crohn’s was an immune disorder and that 6-MP, a cancer therapeutic agent, had immune-suppressant properties, but a previous trial of similar medication for Crohn’s disease had failed. When Dr. Present published his results in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 1980, it changed the lives of thousands of Crohn’s patients.


Later, he studied the use of cyclosporine for severe steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis, and demonstrated that it could help avoid or delay colectomies in many of these seriously ill patients.


Additionally, in a third breakthrough in the late 1990s, Dr. Present studied cA2, also known as infliximab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody, and showed, in another seminal paper in the NEJM, that it could help close fistulas in Crohn’s patients.


Dr. Present received his medical degree from the State University of New York-Downstate Medical Center in 1959 and completed postgraduate training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Early in his career at Mount Sinai, he was mentored by Henry D. Janowitz, MD, for whom the Division of Gastroenterology is named. In addition to being a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, he was a voluntary physician and talented clinician who cared for thousands of patients over his career.


In 1982, Dr. Stimmel was awarded the Jacobi Medallion, the highest honor that The Mount Sinai Alumni bestows upon an individual.  In 2001, Dr. Stimmel was the first recipient of The Mount Sinai Alumni Award for Achievement in Medical Education. He was President of the Mount Sinai Alumni Association from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, he received the Mount Sinai Alumni Special Recognition Award which acknowledges and thanks individuals who have provided exceptional service to the Alumni Association.


Over a decade ago, he and his wife, Jane, established an endowed fellowship at Mount Sinai (The Daniel and Jane Present-Andrew Levison Advanced Fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Disease) to train graduates from outside institutions to become experts in the care of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and take their expertise back to their home institution to improve patient care and research there.  Dr. and Mrs. Present also maintained a foundation for clinical research into IBD. Upon his retirement from Mount Sinai in 2014, the foundation donated its principal in support of The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Center at Mount Sinai.


We extend our deepest sympathies to Jane and their children, Douglas, Stephanie, and Tracy, at this difficult time.

©2014 Mount Sinai Health System    

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