Freis retired from full time duties at Georgetown School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration Hospital in 1987, though
he continued research and writing for many years after. Khatri's letter reflects on Freis's career as a researcher
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1987-01-11 (January 11, 1987)
Khatri, Ibrahim M.
Freis, Edward D.
Reproduced with permission of Ibrahim M. Khatri.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
After 1980: Changing Trends in Hypertension Therapy
One sultry May evening in 1959, I sat down to study in my small, cramped rooftop "apartment" on Ali Umar Street, Bombay.
As I read from the textbook of Goodman and Gilman a chapter on the pharmacology of ganglionic blocking drugs, I was first
introduced to you. It was, perhaps, one chance in 800 million that I would have the honor of doing my fellowship with you.
As I reminisce about my first exposure to your wisdom during the sleep study, I still marvel at how we completed it. Those
long nights of watching the EEG readings on the oscilloscope, doing cardiac outputs, along with endless calculations during
the wee hours of the morning are forever etched in my mind. I remember quite vividly the night you awoke from one of our
infrequent naps, looked at the oscilloscope, and stated, "We're making history, Ibi." That paper is still our
In 1966, at the spring meeting of the American Federation for Clinical Research in Atlantic City, you had your greatest moment
yet. I was sharing a room with Drs. Cohn and Tristani at the Burgundie Motel, and one night around 10 p.m., you knocked on
our door. It was then that you announced that you had figured out how hypertension begins. I immediately turned off the
television, Jay put away the abstracts he had been reading, and Felix sat up in bed. Silence prevailed as we were all ears.
You became uneasy, but told us about the initial hemodynamic abnormality which was veno-constriction. After this historic
moment, we all went to Jockey Club to celebrate.
As your fellow, I was able to learn extensively as well as to create new concepts by formulating hypotheses, watching them
take shape through many hours of experimentation, and rejoicing when they eventually became scientific facts. I consider
myself the luckiest amongst your former fellows as I still will have the opportunity to receive cognitive infusions from you
regularly even after your retirement.
Dr. Freis, I believe your ability to direct and organize new concepts and design successful studies is unprecedented, and
your devotion to scientific research is an inspiration for young, research-oriented students of medicine, Right now, I am
thoroughly enjoying this scientific research as a part of my career and I hope to continue in it with you during the years