Appreciative of excellence
“I have always been very appreciative of the excellent and rigorous medical education and training I received at Wits – certainly as good as that of graduates I have encountered from Ivy League medical schools in the USA,” says Dr Evan Stein, who graduated with his MBBCh from Wits Medical School in 1970 and a PhD in inherited high cholesterol from Wits in 1981.
“My wife, Lindsay Stein, PhD (née Smith), is also a Wits graduate (BA Honours, Speech & Hearing Therapy, 1972).” In 2013 Dr Stein drew up a proposal for a programme to detect and treat Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) patients with his friend and colleague, Professor Frederick Raal (MBBCh 1981, MMed1991, PhD 2000), who currently heads the lipid clinic that Dr Stein started in 1972.
“FH is the commonest inherited disease in the world associated with significant disease and death,” Dr Stein explains. In December 2015, the Wits Council approved the establishment of the ‘Evan Stein FH Centre’, made possible by a US$460 000 donation from Dr Stein and a US$750 000 endowment from the University of Pennsylvania, enabled by Dr Stein.
“The Centre is a way for me to help contribute to addressing FH needs in South Africa, where funds for this type of research are almost non-existent,” says Dr Stein. “Together with Wits, we came up with a model that will ensure that the funds are used optimally; keeping the donors involved and likely to contribute more.”