John W. Rebuck


John W. Rebuck, 90, a renowned pathologist who developed the human skin window used to determine the amount of drugs to dispense after organ transplants, died Oct. 10 of kidney failure at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. A recent resident of Kensington, he had lived in Birmingham, Mich.

Dr. Rebuck developed his "skin window" procedure in 1955. It monitors a transplant patient's ability to withstand infections by directly examining functioning white blood cells in a man-made "window" in the skin of the forearm. He also conducted pioneering work in understanding sickle cell hemoglobin.

From 1947 to 1976, he was chief of laboratory hematology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He retired in 1981. He published more than 200 medical papers and six books in his field. He also was a consultant to NASA during the Apollo moon landing program.

Dr. Rebuck, a native of Minneapolis, graduated from Creighton University in Omaha and received his master's and medical degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1943. During World War II, he served in the Army Medical Corps. He received his doctorate at Minnesota in 1947.

His wife of 60 years, Virginia Reed Rebuck, died in 2004.