Ralph Frankowski, PhD, Faculty Emeritus Obituary

Ralph Frankowski, PhD, Faculty Emeritus Obituary

Ralph Frankowski.JPG
Ralph Frankowski, PhD, faculty emeritus at UTHealth School of Public Health, passed away peacefully at home on Dec. 17, 2019. He was 84..

Ralph Frankowski, PhD, faculty emeritus at UTHealth School of Public Health, passed away peacefully at home on Dec. 17, 2019. He was 84.

In 1970, Dr. Frankowski joined the School of Public Health’s division of biometry, now known as the department of biostatistics and data science. He served as associate dean for academic affairs from 1976-1982, and interim director of the school’s Center for the Prevention of Injury and Violence from 1993-1995. Dr. Frankowski retired from UTHealth School of Public Health in 2013.

Spanning more than five decades, Dr. Frankowski’s research focused on the design, analysis and coordination of epidemiological studies and clinical trials. He was renowned for his studies on stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury, and was instrumental in the creation of the North American Clinical Trials Network for the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury, a consortium of university hospital neurosurgical and neurorehabilitation teams, who bring therapy treatments into clinical trials.

His research was well regarded nationally and internationally and was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, and other funding agencies.

Throughout his career, Dr. Frankowski was recognized for his outstanding teaching, research and academic leadership skills. He received UTHealth School of Public Health’s Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence in 1989 and the UTHealth School of Public Health Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award eight times throughout the ’90s and 2000s. He was a forever-member of UTHealth’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and devoted much of his career to the ethical protection of human subjects. He served on numerous advisory committees for organizations of national importance including the National Institutes of Health, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, and Centers for Disease Control.

“Ralph was a great colleague and peer. He had a real commitment to public health and good science. He brought to the Institution strong collaborative instincts and a great sense of humor that would brighten the entire School.” says Eric Boerwinkle, PhD, dean of the School of Public Health.

Dr. Frankowski is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Elizabeth, and children – Carolyn Frankowski, Linda (Frankowski) Luehrmann, and James Frankowski, sons-in-law Aitor Zurutuza and Nils Luehrmann, and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in his honor.

A UTHealth Memorial fund has been created in honor of Dr. Frankowsi. To contribute a gift in memory of Dr. Frankowski, please click here.