Born in Pittsburg, Kansas August 4, 1924, Dr. Norman attended local public schools in Pittsburg graduating from high school before his 16th birthday in 1940. He went to Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg from 1940 to 1943 when he was taken into the army as a reservist. The army assigned him to the Army Air Corps and sent him to school to become a weather observer. He served in this capacity until 1946 with assignments in the U.S. and a year in Surinam, South America. After discharge he returned to KSTC obtaining a bachelors degree in 1947.
He then went to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, graduating M.D. cum laude in 1951. After internship at Barnes Hospital and residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital, he was a research fellow at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research with Dr. Merrill W. Chase from 1954 to 1956.
Most of Dr. Norman’s career has been spent at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He joined the faculty in 1956 rising from Instructor of Medicine to Professor of Medicine in 1975. He was Co-Chaiman of the Division of Clinical Immunology from 1970 to 1991. At Johns Hopkins, he supervised the clinical allergy and immunology training of 54 physicians and was personally involved in the scientific training of 31. He retired and became Professor of Medicine emeritus in 2011.
His scientific work has mainly been concerned with immunotherapy of respiratory allergies and consists of numerous contributions to the understanding of mechanisms and clinical efficacy of this treatment. He also was a pioneer in the study of the structure and chemistry of specific allergens. The isolation of Amb a 1 as the principle allergen of ragweed pollen allowed the standardization of ragweed extracts on a rational basis. This in turn led to a basis for arriving at the proper target dose for immunotherapy and a safe program of gradual escalation to the dose required for clinical efficacy. He was the first to study the use of nasal corticosteroid sprays in hay fever and allergic rhinitis demonstrating their efficacy and safety in controlled studies. Such sprays are still used extensively in treatment. With others he developed improved methods for pulmonary and nasal challenge that have contributed to our knowledge of in vivo mediator release and its physiologic effects.
He was President of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology in 1975 and received their distinguished service award in 1985. A lectureship was named in his honor in 1990. He was Editor of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology from1993 to 1998.
His curriculum vitae includes 237 articles in medical and scientific journals and 103 book chapters and reviews.
Starting in 2005, he developed a series of presentations for interested lay people examining the relationship between scientific findings and religious belief. He does this from the standpoint of professional scientist who is also a practicing Christian and an active member of St. James parish, Monkton, Md. of the Anglican Church.
The first of these recounts how scientists have developed the Big Bang story of the origin of the universe and then examines whether that story alters traditional religious beliefs.
He married Marion Reynolds Birmingham, a native of Baltimore, in 1955. There are three children: Reynolds Tenazas-Norman, a fine artist in New York, Drew Norman, of the One Straw Farm in White Hall, Md and Helen Norman Elmore, photographer, also of White Hall Md. There are 5 grand children and 2 great grand children Marion Norman died in 2006.
Philip Norman was a kind, patient,thoughtful and inspiring man. He put his family first.
He was a great inspiration to many other scientists.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. James Episcopal Church, 3100 Monkton Road, Monkton, MD 21111 on Saturday, August 17, 2018 beginning at 3 PM. Interment will be private.
In Lieu of flowers donations can be made to one of these organizations:
1. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Maryland-DC Chapter
2. St James Episcopal Church, Monkton, MD