In Memoriam, Melvyn T. Korobkin MD.


Dear Colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to share with you the news about the passing last night of our faculty colleague, mentor to many here and beyond, devoted husband to Linda and father to Daniel, Melvyn T. Korobkin MD.  

His 40-year-long career dedicated to exploring and demonstrating the possibilities of CT in diagnosing abdominal disease began at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), one of the first medical centers in the nation to install a body CT scanner, and where Mel headed up this revolutionary new area of radiology. After graduating from the Yale School of Medicine in 1967, and completing radiology residency at UCSF, Mel joined their faculty in 1972.  As a founding member of the Society of Uroradiology in 1974 and Society of Computed Body Tomography in 1976, Mel helped bring together academic radiologists from around the country committed to uroradiology and CT, promoting and sharing research, mentoring nascent academic radiologists, and teaching community and academic radiologists.  After heading up Body CT at Duke University for 6 years, and spending 5 years in practice at Sinai Hospital of Detroit/Wayne State Medical School, we were fortunate to have him join our faculty in 1989 as the director of the Abdominal Division, and his academic home until his retirement.

Best known for his work in adrenal imaging, which fundamentally changed medical practice around the world, many may consider his greatest professional legacy how he touched generations of physicians & trainees, and impacted the care of patients through his work.  Mel’s own words and reflections by others tell you much about the man who inspired and touched so many.

"I have relished the opportunity to mentor and encourage up-and coming academic radiologists in learning and perfecting research techniques, writing scientific papers, and developing lectures." "One of my most rewarding collaborations at the U-M has involved my work with the Adrenal Tumor Board. It has become one of the most active boards in the US… bringing together surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists on a weekly basis. - Melvyn T. Korobkin, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Division of Abdominal Radiology


"Mel undoubtedly is a great radiologist and investigator, but mostly I see him as a great human being. He sincerely helped younger radiologists develop and improve their clinical and academic skills. Mel personally supported and encouraged me as a young faculty, always providing honest and constructive criticism with respect and kindness." - Hero Hussain, M.D. Professor, Division of Abdominal Radiology/MRI


“Mel was a gentle giant.”Mel Korobkin, M.D. epitomizes the tripartite mission of teaching, research and patient care of the University of Michigan Health System. While his pioneering work on adrenal-specific imaging protocols has become the gold standard for the evaluation of adrenal masses, his commitment to patient-centered care and service excellence really set the stage for the creation of the first Tumor Board dedicated to adrenal and endocrine-related tumors at the University of Michigan.” - Gary D. Hammer, M.D., Ph.D. Millie Schembechler Professor of Adrenal Cancer; Director, Endocrine Oncology Program Director, Department of Internal Medicine


“When Dr. Korobkin came to the Department as a Professor of Radiology, he was a renowned genitourinary radiologist with expertise in adrenal imaging. As this was also an area of my research interest, I was concerned that he would take over this research. But my concerns were unfounded, as Dr. Korobkin graciously involved me in his research projects and I did so in return, and together we did some of the initial work on CT washout features of adrenal masses, which became one of the standard methods by which adrenal masses are characterized today." - Isaac Francis, M.D., the Melvyn T. Korobkin Professor of Radiology; Division of Abdominal Radiology, Associate Chair for Research


"Dr. Korobkin’s analytical approach and careful attention to detail in the investigation of the clinical problems faced by abdominal imagers has advanced the field of uroradiology." - N. Reed Dunnick, M.D. Fred Jenner Hodges Professor & Chair of Radiology