Dr. Brock Named Dr EF Gordon Professor

December 15, 2020

Dr. Malcolm Brock has been named the Dr. E.F. Gordon Professor of Thoracic Surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, with the well known center saying that Dr. Brock has direct historical ties to the “legendary civil rights leader.”

The Johns Hopkins Medicine website said, “In Bermuda, many know Dr. E.F. Gordon [1895–1955] as the legendary civil rights leader who fought for racial desegregation and workers’ rights. For thoracic surgeon Malcolm Brock, the connection is more personal.

“Brock’s grandfather, Mansfield Brock Sr., owned a popular barbershop that doubled as a social club. Dr. Gordon was a close friend who frequented the shop to debate politics and take the pulse of public opinion. He also was the Brocks’ family physician. “Dr. Gordon was a brilliant diagnostician,” says Brock, who recalls his grandfather telling him how Dr. Gordon once saved the life of his own father, Mansfield Jr.

“The story of how he emergently drained an infected abscess on Brock’s father when he was a 5-year-old boy — at a time before antibiotics — and then treated the resulting sepsis with homemade medication created in his private laboratory inspired Brock to pursue medicine.

“That story stayed in my mind as I went through school,” recalls Brock, who was recently named the Dr. E.F. Gordon Professor of Thoracic Surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, thanks to philanthropic support from admirers in Bermuda who created the endowed professorship.

“Dr. Gordon, who had gone to such an eminent medical school, the University of Edinburgh, eventually found his place within little Bermuda, and then used his creativity to save my dad’s life.”

“From humble beginnings, Brock’s father grew up to become the founding CEO of Bermuda College and to serve the Bermudian government in numerous capacities, including permanent secretary of education.

“Brock has understood the impact of philanthropy from early on in his academic career, as he earned a Rotary scholarship to study in Japan after graduating from high school as valedictorian of his class. He taught himself to speak fluent Japanese, earned a black belt in judo and pursued a Master of Letters in East Asian studies as a Rhodes scholar.

“He went on to earn his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine [’91] as well as complete both a general surgery residency and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Johns Hopkins.

“A professor of surgery and oncology as well as environmental health sciences at The Johns Hopkins University, Brock has received multiple honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bermuda Healthcare Foundation and the prestigious James IV Association of Surgeons Award, which included visiting professorships to medical schools in China, Japan, France and South Africa.

“He is a member of numerous national medical societies and until recently served as president of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons.

“Support from the endowed professorship will significantly advance Brock’s research pursuits, which include developing novel molecular biomarkers to diagnose cancer earlier, and uncovering a possible genetic association for palmar, axillary and pedal hyperhidrosis [excessive sweating] and other dysautonomic disorders.”

“I’m honored to be associated with the name of Dr. E.F. Gordon,” says Dr Brock. “He learned empathy from his work as a physician, and that directly informed his activism. I am driven by that same desire to make life better for those who are less fortunate.”

You can read the full story here on Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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