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In Memoriam: Irene G. Tamagna

Professor Emeritus of Medicine Irene G. Tamagna, MD, passed away March 25, 2018, less than two months shy of her 103rd birthday. Tamagna, who joined the medical faculty of the George Washington University (GW) in 1948, overcame tremendous obstacles in her quest to become a physician. Twice her medical education was put on hold as she fled Nazi occupation, leaving both her Austrian homeland and later Italy. Tamagna and her husband, Frank — whom she married while living in Italy — settled in the United States. Here Irene completed her medical education at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, followed by a residency and cardiology fellowship at the New York Post Graduate and Columbia University Medical Centers.

After joining GW, Tamagna taught hypertension and clinical medicine for more than three decades while becoming a leader in the fight against poliomyelitis, opening one of only nine polio Respiratory Centers in the country. In 2002, Tamagna and her family established the Irene Tamagna Lecture on Hypertension.

Tamagna is survived by her two daughters and their husbands, Ellen Tamagna, MD ’71, and Victor Hogen, and Jane Tamagna and Lonnie Darr; five grandchildren and their spouses; and three great-grandchildren.