Agamemnon Despopoulos, MD
Born 1924 in New York, Dr. Agamemnon Despopoulos was a founding faculty member in the UNM Department of Physiology. Previously, he was a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Kentucky, and at the National Heart Institute at NIH. "Dr. D," as he was called, taught cardiovascular physiology at the new UNM School of Medicine. He was also the first faculty member to teach pharmacology.
Dora Wong writes in The Daily Practice of Compassion: "He seemed best suited for the task, since no pharmacologists came onto the faculty for two years after its founding. Also, if he didn't know the answers to pharmacology questions (not actually being a pharmacologist), he was the most talented at making up answers, according to the recollections of early faculty members". In 1971, Dr. Despopoulos left UNM to become a scientific advisor at CIBA-GEIGY, Basel. Named for the ancient King of Mycenae, who started the Trojan War in Homer's Odyssey, Dr. D met tragedy during his own odyssey. He and his wife were lost at sea, sailing from Tunisia to the United States, in his sailboat.