Award-winning Jamaican rheumatologist at Johns Hopkins killed in hit-and-run

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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BROOKLANDVILLE, Maryland, United States (AP) — Authorities say an award-winning Johns Hopkins rheumatologist was killed in a hit-and-run involving three vehicles in Maryland.

Citing a Baltimore County police release, news outlets report Jamaican-born 35-year-old Nadia Dominique Morgan was killed late Saturday night. Police said Sunday that 31-year-old Jason William Hines has been charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run.

According to the release, Morgan was driving a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek south through an intersection on a green light when a 2006 Acura TSX heading east struck her, forcing it into a third vehicle, which also was headed south, just before 11:00 pm. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say Hines crashed into a fire hydrant and fled the scene on foot as Morgan's car became engulfed in flames. It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Morgan, a faculty member at Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center, was the recipient of the 2016 American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Fellow Award.

A report in the Baltimore Sun on Sunday said Morgan, an instructor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, received her doctorate degree at The University of the West Indies and completed an internal medicine residency at State University of New York (SUNY), Downstate Medical Center, serving an additional year as chief resident.

According to her father, Alton, a real estate attorney in Jamaica, she had moved to the US in 2010 to do the residency at SUNY.

Describing his daughter as an “exceptional person” Alton Morgan said the family was in shock.

The Baltimore Sun report said that Dr Morgan earned a master's degree in health science in clinical investigation from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health while completing her fellowship.

The Sun reported Johns Hopkins Medicine spokesman Ken Willis as saying that Morgan was “an extraordinarily warm, talented and promising member of our community who gave so much to everyone around her”.

Added Willis: “Her death is an enormous loss to the entire Johns Hopkins Medicine family, and to the many patients and colleagues who benefited from her skills and commitment.”

The Sun also reported that Morgan was the principal investigator in a research project titled 'Interleukin-13 and Scleroderma in African Americans', for which she had received a grant from the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

Her primary research interest was in factors contributing to the severe fibrotic manifestations of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) in populations of African ancestry, the Sun reported.

“My specific expertise lies in a condition called systemic sclerosis, also known as scleroderma, which literally means 'hard skin',” Morgan states in a promotional video posted on August 30. “The hallmark of this condition is tightening and scarring, or fibrosis, of the skin, but it's so much more than skin deep, because the internal organs can be affected as well, leading to overall dysfunction.”

The Baltimore Sun also reported that Morgan flew home to visit her family in Jamaica at least three times a year and had planned to fly to the island this Friday for the holidays.

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