Few people achieve distinction in their careers. Dr Mark L. Dyken has excelled in many—clinician, teacher, investigator, leader, editor—all at a superb level.
Dr Dyken’s professional life began and continues as a masterful and compassionate clinician who loves teaching. Remarkably, 4 medical school classes at Indiana University voted him Outstanding Professor, and the university conferred upon him the Glen W. Irwin, Jr, MD Distinguished Faculty Award in 1994. Internationally, he has been honored by hundreds of visiting professorships, including 14 named lectureships and being named Professor Ad-Honorem at the University of Uruguay.
As an investigator, he led the first prospective controlled trial in stroke in the 1950s and the Cooperative Hospital Frequency Study of Transient Ischemic Attacks, the definitive study of the subject, in the 1970s. Since that time he has been involved in some capacity in every North American trial of antiplatelet drugs in stroke prevention and was one of the first to suggest that aspirin would also be effective in women.
As chairman of the Department of Neurology during 1971–1994, he put his department on the international map. His leadership also extended into other areas: President of the Association of University Professors of Neurology (1986–1988), the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1995), and the Association for the Advancement of Mental Health Research and Education (1975–1996). He also has been a recognized leader within the American Heart Association, which conferred on him the Gold Heart Award, their highest honor, seldom bestowed on someone working in stroke. His peers working in stroke also conferred on him their greatest honor: The Willis Lecture of the International Stroke Conference.
Dr Dyken has been the longest-serving Editor in Chief of Stroke, 1992–2000, and a very distinguished one. He had the foresight to appoint a highly respected European editor, Dr Marie-Germaine Bousser, and an accomplished Basic Science editor, Dr Hermes Kontos. This has resulted in Europe becoming the single largest source of manuscripts and in an increase in the number and quality of basic science submissions.
While the number of manuscripts rose from 563 in 1991 to 1440 in 1999, the mean time from submission to first decision fell from 6 to 4.5 weeks. Under his editorship, the Institute of Scientific Information impact factor for Stroke has risen to a remarkable 5.53. Dr Dyken has become a paragon of integrity, fairness, and meticulous attention to detail. The eye-catching, message-laden cover illustrations, for example, have been chosen, elaborated, and captioned by the Editor in Chief himself. Despite his systematic increase in standards, resulting in a greater number of rejected manucripts, his reputation for fairness remains unchallenged.
With so many accomplishments, one may expect a proud man. Instead we find a modest man: accessible, helpful, and wise.
Dr Dyken keeps fighting fit in mind and body and now has more time for his beloved wife Bev, his children, and many grandchildren.
Mark: statesman, editor, friend . . . thank you.
- Copyright © 2001 by American Heart Association