Emory Report
August 23, 2004
Volume 57, Number 1


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August 23, 2004
Psychiatry professor killed in car crash in China

By Ron Sauder

Xiaohong Wang, a promising researcher in the School of Medicine, was killed July 24 in a car accident along with his sixth-grade son Jim while vacationing in Wuhan, China. He had returned to the country for the first time in a number of years to visit his parents. Wang’s wife, Xiao Lan Ou, and their older son, John, escaped injury in the accident.

Wang, 47, was an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences who specialized in the interface between immunology and psychiatry with particular regard to anxiety, depression and mood disorders in patients with cancer and other medical illnesses. He practiced throughout the Emory system at Emory Hospital, Crawford Long, Wesley Woods and Grady, where his main clinical responsibilities were in the psychiatric emergency room.

“Xiaohong Wang was a model faculty member who was universally liked and respected,” said psychiatry department chair Charles Nemeroff. “This is a tragedy and a shock whose pain will be felt not only by his family but by all his friends and colleagues here at Emory.”

Wang was a graduate of the Tongji Medical University in Wuhan and served an internship at Wayne State University in Detroit and a residency at the State University of New York–Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. He also earned a Ph.D. at Texas A&M.

Wang was a recipient of numerous awards for his research, including a Janssen Psychiatry Resident Award of Excellence, a Janssen Faculty Career Develop-ment Award and a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. Since coming to Emory in 2001, his studies provided novel insights into the role of inflammation in the development of mood disorders as well as the regulation of the neuroendocrine system. He had taken on three postdoctoral research fellows just in the past several months.

“Xiaohong was a treasured friend, whom we will all miss terribly,” said Andrew Miller, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of psychiatric oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute. “He was on a major upswing in his career, and his premature death is all the more tragic when considering his immense potential to make significant contributions to the lives of so many.”

The funeral was held in China. A memorial service was held Aug. 16 in Cannon Chapel.