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Statement from Ron Girotto on the death of John Baxter, M.D.

Houston, TX - 10/11/2011

Ron Girotto, president and CEO of The Methodist Hospital System, recently released the following statement regarding John Baxter, M.D., who died recently after a two-month battle with cancer. Baxter was 71.

With great sadness I write to inform you we have lost a member of our family, Dr. John Baxter, who has passed away.

John was among the world's most important medical geneticists, and was a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. John was part of the group that first cloned the growth hormone family of genes, including human growth hormone. He helped pinpoint the gene responsible for growth hormone insensitivity, and is responsible for a long list of seminal publications that expanded our knowledge of human biology. In recent years, John has been investigating the genetics of diseases such as obesity, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.

John spent most of his professional career at UC San Francisco. We were proud when he decided to leave that fine institution to join the Methodist faculty in 2008, and we are grateful for the time he spent with us in Houston.

John was a senior member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, the director of the Genomic Medicine Program, the co-director of the Methodist Diabetes and Metabolism Institute, and chief of the Division of Endocrinology for The Methodist Hospital.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, colleagues, and admirers.

An obituary written by the Baxter family can be viewed at http://www.methodisthealth.com/body.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=495&action=detail&ref=850. Baxter's family is planning a memorial service. They ask that in lieu of gifts, well wishers make a donation to The Endocrine Society, the scientific society with which Baxter was most intimately involved.