Newsletter  Volume 1| Issue 20
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Maria del Mar Sanchez


The Lunch colloquium on June 1 will be on the topic of Mothering and Babies' Neurobehavioral Development.  


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May 26, 2015
This issue of our newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC). I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S.  On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.
With best wishes,

Gray F. Crouse
Director, EUEC
In this Issue:
DirectorMessage from the Director



There are certain events and programs that we experience and know even at the time we will never forget. For me, one of those was certainly Mort Waitzman's talk at the last Lunch Colloquium. For 50 years, he never talked about those World War II experiences, and even now it is difficult from him to do so. As he said, he would prefer to talk about his academic research on prostaglandins that he performed as Professor of Ophthalmology and Physiology at Emory, but he understands the importance of telling his story. If you were not able to attend, you can get some idea of his talk from the article in this newsletter; there is also a link to a segment of an interview he did with CNN.


Our next Lunch Colloquium returns us to current scientific research being done at Emory and will be a fascinating glimpse at what work on animal models can tell us about neurobehavioral development. You are probably aware that the Luce Center is essentially next door to Yerkes; this will be a great opportunity to learn some of what is happening at Yerkes.


There are a number of other bits of information in this newsletter. We also mark the passing of two of our founding members.


I am very grateful to Herb Benario and Gretchen Schulz for help with proofing and editing.  



LCTopJune 1 Lunch Colloquium

Mothering and Babies' Neurobehavioral Development: Lessons from Animal Models

The Luce Center, 11:30-1:00

MARIA DEL MAR SANCHEZ, Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Affiliate Scientist, Yerkes National Primate Research Center


Click here to read more about Mar Sanchez 


ShakTopMay 18 Lunch Colloquium

Waitzman as Witness to the Horrors of War: D-Day and Beyond



Those who were present to hear EUEC member Mort Waitzman talk about his experiences in World War II had a truly memorable experience.



FATopFaculty activities

One of our members has just published a second book of photography and has an exhibition at a local gallery.

Click here to read more

Faculty Governance

Jim Keller is the voting representative of EUEC to both the Faculty Council and University Senate.  You can read short summaries of the March 2015 meetings of each by clicking  Council Concerns and  Senate Summary


Two EUEC Founding Members recently passed away.  You can read about Margaret Drummond and Bill Brillhart below.

Faculty Club

Mike Kutner has been working tirelessly to build support on campus for establishing a faculty club.  He welcomes all EUEC members in this effort.
Nominations for Life of the Mind Series

A call went out recently from the Provost's Office for nominations for faculty speakers to discuss "research, broadly considered, on the theme of income equality."  That should be a fascinating series of talks next year!  If you have possible nominations, you can read the full announcement with directions for making nominations by clicking here.

LCBotJune 1 Lunch Colloquium--Mar Sanchez

Mothering and Babies' Neurobehavioral Development: Lessons from Animal Models

MARIA DEL MAR SANCHEZ, Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Affiliate Scientist, Yerkes National Primate Research Center


Dr. Mar Sanchez studies the neurobiological systems that control stress physiology and emotion regulation. She is particularly interested in the effects of early life stress on the development of brain systems and the psychopathology and pathophysiology of anxiety and mood disorders. She will report on the work she's doing at Yerkes, work demonstrating that disruptions in maternal care do stress the young in ways that cause an array of negative developmental outcomes affecting both the mind and the brain.


From Dr. Mar Sanchez:

The overall goals of my research program are to understand (1) the neurobiological systems that control stress responses and emotion regulation, and (2) how early life stress (in particular, the disruption of the mother-infant relationship) affects the development of those brain systems, leading to psychopathology and pathophysiology characteristic of anxiety and mood disorders. In addition, I am integrating studies of genetic and social factors that interact with early environment to affect vulnerability to early adversity. To achieve these goals, I have used rodent and, more recently, nonhuman primate animal models to capitalize on the experimental control and the level of molecular and cellular analysis that they provide.


My lab applies a multidisciplinary approach to these questions, including the analysis of: (1) neuroendocrine systems that mediate stress responses (e.g. hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function; corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)); (2) social and emotional behavior -including fear and anxiety-; (3) cognitive analysis; (4) brain development using in vivo neuroimaging techniques (such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), resting state fMRI and positron emission tomography (PET)); and (5) molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying all those changes, including studies of gene/protein expression and receptor binding of neuropeptide and corticosteroid systems in brain regions involved in stress and emotional regulation (e.g., amygdala, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus).


This multidisciplinary approach bridges many different disciplines (stress neurobiology, neuroendocrinology, development, neuroimaging, genetics, primatology, behavior, psychobiology and psychopathology) and has a great translational value for human studies



PhD, Complutense University, 1994   Madrid, Spain

MS, Complutense University, 1988


Click here to return to top

May 18:  Waitzman as Witness to the Horrors of War: D-Day and Beyond 



EUEC Member Mort Waitzman spoke to a capacity audience about his experiences as a soldier in World War II. He began by stating that he would much prefer to talk about the research he did for many years as a Professor of Ophthalmology and Physiology. In fact, with one exception during his graduate studies immediately after the War, he did not speak of his World War II experiences for 50 years. He began speaking about his experiences once he realized that there were fewer people available to counteract the persistent voices of those who deny the existence of the Holocaust and that he had a responsibility to speak out as a witness to much of the horror of that time.


There is no question that much of what Mort had to say was of almost unimaginable suffering and unspeakable horror. What is difficult to convey in any written report is the humanity and sometime self-deprecating humor with which it was delivered. He claimed to be no hero, and yet who could better claim such a title?


Before Mort began his talk, we were shown a YouTube clip of a 2012 CNN interview with Mort. A link to that clip is given below, and that video served as an introduction to his talk.


The title of his talk suggested that his story would start at D-Day, but a fascinating part of his experiences started before D-Day. In high school, Mort had taken 4 years of French and become relatively proficient in the language. When he enrolled in the Army in 1943 at age 19, he had a choice of staying in the States and training as an engineer or being shipped overseas. He chose to go to Europe and was assigned to Communications and became fluent in Morse code. When he arrived in England, one of his duties was to monitor communications with the French Underground. As he was telling of his experiences, he asked the audience who had seen the movie, The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Many in the audience had seen the movie and Mort then told us that another of his duties was interception of German communications and shipping the intercepted messages to Bletchley Park in the hopes they could be decoded. Although the intercepted coded messages were generally sent via secret convoys to Bletchley Park, Mort said that he had gone there several times himself.


Mort's battle experiences began on June 6, 1944 with the invasion of Normandy; Mort told of his landing at Omaha beach. There of course has been no shortage of accounts of the horrors of the D-Day invasion. Mort told of the complications of the weather and the difficulties of getting from the transport ships to the smaller vessels to reach shore. He spoke with great sadness of seeing soldiers leaping from the ships to the smaller boats, but missing and drowning in the Channel--their lives over without even engaging the enemy and with no help possible from their comrades.


Mort was part of the liberation of Paris, but there was no time to celebrate as his unit had to move on quickly to Verdun, then to the Netherlands, and then to the Battle of the Bulge from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945. That battle was the largest and bloodiest fought by the United States and was the source of the highest casualties for any U.S. operation in the war.


One might think that having gone through all of those experiences, the worst would have been over, but after the Battle of the Bulge, Mort's unit crossed into Germany and witnessed the indescribable horrors of the Nazi regime. First was the liberation of the Dinslaken Labor Camp in early March of 1945, followed by liberation of the Dora-Mittlebau (Nordhausen) Concentration Camp in mid-April and then coming to the site of the massacre at Gardelegen. The tragedy of arriving too late to save so many who had been killed in advance of the coming of the Allies and seeing thousands of dead bodies laid out in rows is something no one wants to talk about; Mort is a witness to that only because he feels it is necessary to do so. As Mort stated: "What happened clear across Europe was the story of freedom and liberty and preserving and protecting the rights of others."

Mort is emeritus professor of ophthalmology and physiology at Emory and is a founding member of EUEC.  He recorded a Living History video for EUEC, and that video may be seen by clicking here.   Portions of an interview with CNN can be seen by clicking here


FABotFaculty Activities--Mario DiGirolamo

EUEC member Mario DiGirolamo has just published a second book of photography, Visione.  The book has received considerable interest, and you can see and hear interviews with Mario on CNN and WABE

There is currently an exhibition of Mario's photographs at Atlanta's Lumière Gallery through June 26.  Directions to the Gallery (which is just a few miles from the Luce Center) can be found by clicking here.  The Gallery is open without appointment on Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.  The exhibition was recently reviewed in, with the reviewer commenting:  "Whatever their genre, his photos are a testament to the power of the medium to deliver a poetic truth to the chaos of life. And they are here to be enjoyed and appreciated like a cup of good espresso, strong and invigorating."  Read the full review by clicking here.

As a special for EUEC members, Mario will be at the Lumière Gallery on Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13 from 1 pm to 3 pm.  If you are there at either of those times, be sure to introduce yourself to Mario!  He will be glad to talk about his photographs and answer any questions you might have.

IMBotIn Memoriam

Margaret Drummond


Margaret Drummond, PhD, passed away April 8, 2015. Born in Oklahoma, Margaret grew up in Atlanta where she went to Girls High. She was a graduate of Agnes Scott College where she received an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry and then a masters degree in biochemistry. Later she earned her doctorate in microbiology at Emory University. She continued her career in teaching and research with Emory's School of Medicine, spanning 30 years before retiring in 1988. As one of the relatively few women on the faculty in the 1970s, she helped organize a brown bag lunch group known as the Women's Caucus. Later she was the first chair of Emory's President's Commission on the Status of Women.


In addition to her valuable service to medical school and microbiology students at Emory, she spent much of her discretionary time in support of the Appalachian Trail. As an avid hiker, she became aware of the importance of this 2,100 mile trail along the Appalachian mountain chain and became a leader in both local and national organizations dedicated to maintaining and managing this resource. She devoted 26 years of volunteer service to the national board of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, six of those years as chair of the board. She is one of the few honorary life members of ATC and was also awarded the prestigious US Forest Service Chief's award for her contributions to the National Trails System. Just prior to her death, she was elected to the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame.


She was known as a mentor and a consensus builder, both in her professional and her volunteer public service spheres. She encouraged colleagues, students and new volunteers to accept challenges and become leaders.


--Marianne Skeen


Bill Brillhart






William Edson Brillhart age 95 of Decatur, died Wednesday, May 20, 2015. He went to join Connie, his wife of 68 years, Cornelia Camp Brillhart. He was preceded in death by his brother Robert Ross Brillhart. He will be dearly missed by his daughters Beth Brillhart Nuttall and husband Robert, Mary Brillhart Bower and husband David, four grandsons, Christopher William Bower, Robert William Nuttall, Jason Andrew Bower and Jeffrey Phillip Nuttall. Bill was born January 1, 1920 in Bowling Green, Ohio. He grew up in Napoleon, Ohio on the Maumee River. Bill earned his bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. While stationed in Chamblee, Georgia, he met Connie at the USO before leaving to serve in WWII. In Europe serving as a Medic in the Army's 4th infantry division he received a bronze star and a purple heart.  After the war in 1946 he married Connie, an Atlanta native.  


Bill received a masters degree at Emory University and taught Biology at Georgia Tech and Emory's Junior College at Valdosta. For 38 years Bill was a Biology Professor at Emory University teaching over 30,000 students. With his love of the water he taught Emory Coastal Biology courses at St. Simons Island and in Jamaica.  A quote from a former graduate student: "Bill Brillhart is more than a professor. He has a deep respect and compassion for life which transcends textbook biology, and he gives his students an understanding of principles, thoughts, and facts that have helped me with academics as well as becoming a better human being."   


After retiring Bill enjoyed his four grandsons and traveled with Connie to many Elder Hostels. They spent much of their time in Saint Simons educating about and defending the environment of coastal Georgia.  Bill was a life long learner with a deep appreciation of science and nature. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Glynn Environmental Coalition at The family will receive friends and have moments of sharing from 4-6pm on Friday, May 22, 2015 at A. S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home & Crematory. There will be a family burial at Westview Cemetery.


--From the family



Several years ago, Bill wrote briefly about his career at Emory.  That reflection may be read by clicking here.
Emory University Emeritus College

The Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Road NE #206

Atlanta, GA 30329


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Emory University Emeritus College | The Luce Center | 825 Houston Mill Road NE #206 | Atlanta | GA | 30329