Mark Lowe, MD, PhD
Mark Lowe was born in Chicago and grew up in South Dakota where his grandfather, uncle and father were general practitioners in the town of Mobridge. Mark took advantage of the opportunities offered in a small town and played multiple sports and the euphonium. He even did a stint as a filler in the chorus. The choral director wouldn’t let him sing; they just needed more guys. After high school, Mark attended Washington University in St. Louis initially in the School of Engineering and, after some drifting, settled on a major in Biology. As an undergraduate, he worked in a basic science laboratory at the School of Medicine. The lab experience and the excitement of a medical school counselor that an advisee might go to medical school in South Dakota convinced Mark he should attend graduate school. He moved to Philadelphia and obtained a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. His wife Nancy, a St. Louis native, joined him and finished her undergraduate degree at Temple University. Nancy and Mark married in 1976 and soon moved to Washington DC. Mark worked at the National Institutes of Health and Nancy worked in retail. Their first daughter, Lauren, was born in DC. After five years, Mark decided to go back to medical school. He was accepted into the PhD to MD program at the University of Miami. He and his wife put Lauren and their Old English sheepdog into their station wagon, their belongings into a rental van and moved to Miami.
After completing medical school, the family moved back to St. Louis where Mark started his internship in Pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Somehow, his second daughter, Virginia, was born during his intern year. No duty hours in those days. Just tired residents. Mark started a fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology at SLCH after his second year of residency. During his fellowship, he developed his interest in dietary fat digestion and the function of pancreatic lipases, which digest dietary fats in the small intestine. This interest continued through his career and various aspects of lipase function and physiology have been the focus of his research. Mark’s clinical interests in pancreatic disorders of childhood naturally developed from his interest in pancreatic function. In 2003, Mark and Nancy moved to Pittsburgh where Mark was the Division Chief of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and served as the Vice-Chair for Graduate Medical Education and as the Interim Chair of Pediatrics. Although Mark has bicycled most of his life and often commuted to work at SLCH on his bike, his cycling life went uphill in Pittsburgh. In addition to regular weekend rides and some bike commuting, Mark also has done bike trips in Mallorca, Andalucía, Provence, Tuscany, and Napa-Sonoma. A trip to Crater Lake in Oregon is planned for this summer.
Neither of Mark’s daughters went into medicine or science. They both came back to St. Louis though and we now have three grandchildren here. When the opportunity arose to return to St. Louis, Nancy and I didn’t have to think too long. We are thrilled to be back in St. Louis close to our family and among the many former colleagues who are still at SLCH and WUSM.