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AAFS Names Thomas T. Noguchi, MD, Gradwohl Laureate

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The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) presented Thomas T. Noguchi, MD, with the prestigious Gradwohl Medallion during the Academy's 67th Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando, Fla. This is the Academy's highest honor and is awarded to members who have attained exceptional distinction in the advancement of forensic sciences and made outstanding contributions to the profession and the Academy. Noguchi joins an elite group of only 13 Academy members who have received this honor since its establishment in 1974.

During his distinguished career, Noguchi served 15 years as chief medical examiner for Los Angeles County, where he either performed or supervised autopsies and investigations for the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, Robert F. Kennedy, Sharon Tate, Janis Joplin, William Holden, Natalie Wood and John Belushi. An author and researcher, Noguchi published more than 65 papers on subjects such as forensic pathology and toxicology, as well as medical law. His significant contributions to the field, writings and introduction of numerous international forensic science dignitaries to the Academy, earned Noguchi an international reputation.

Upon retiring in 1999, Noguchi was honored by the Emperor of Japan with the Order of the Sacred Treasures for "outstanding contribution to Japan in the area of forensic science." He was later appointed Chief of Pathology at the University of Southern California and then served as Administrative Pathologist for Anatomic Pathology services at the USC Medical Center.  He has continued service as an advisor to The International Journal of Legal Medicine, published by the Japanese Society of Legal Medicine and The Journal of Medical Law. He is a past AAFS International Liaison and continues to serve on the International Affairs Committee.

Among his lifetime honors, Noguchi has been recipient of the National Academy of Medical Examiners prestigious Milton Helpern Medal in 2005 and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014; the AAFS Distinguished Fellow Award in 2007; and the Los Angeles Society of Pathologists Lifetime Service Award in 2008.

The Academy also conferred the honor of Distinguished Fellow upon Marilyn A. Huestis, PhD, Senior Investigator and Chief of Chemistry and Drug Metabolism, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, and Adjunct Professor, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, in recognition of her contributions to the Academy and the forensic sciences profession. Huestis has published 354 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, and has presented more than 500 abstracts at national and international meetings. She currently serves on six scientific editorial boards and regularly reviews for 60 journals, and additionally, mentors doctoral students in Toxicology. To date she has overseen the research of 16 distinguished new toxicologists in the U.S. and other countries.