Dr. Paul H. Bramson

Dr. Paul H. Bramson

December 29, 1941 - 2022

Dr. Paul Harlan “Cooky” Bramson, D.V.M. was born Dec. 29, 1941, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He attended Colorado State University and the University of Illinois, where he got his veterinary degree as well as a master’s degree in biology and reproductive physiology.

Moving to Murrysville, PA in 1978, he worked at the Bushy Run Laboratory of Carnegie Mellon University for several years before taking the position as Director of the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources at the University of Pittsburgh (then known as the Central Animal Facility), where his work in animal procurement and care was a crucial part of Pitt’s biomedical programs for almost 30 years. While at Pitt he was involved with the procurement of the baboons for Dr. Thomas Starzl’s pioneering liver transplant surgeries as well as the design of the animal housing in Pitt’s Biomedical Science Towers. He also achieved full institutional credentialing in the Association for the Advancement and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, and helped develop and refine an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, on which he served until his final retirement as well as serving as consulting veterinarian for Hilltop Laboratories.

Dr. Bramson, or “Dr. B.”, is especially remembered by all who knew him for the “safari jacket” he wore as his wardrobe of choice rather than a suit jacket during his entire time at Pitt. He is remembered by his colleagues and former employees as a humble, kind, caring man who was a staunch advocate and defender of all who worked under him, knowing most of his 100-plus employees by name and personally interacting with them as often as possible and constantly working to better the lives of both the animals and personnel under his charge. He is also remembered and lauded for the annual department picnics held in appreciation of his faculty and staff, as well as their families.

During his time at Pitt, Dr. Bramson was also very proud to be one of the founding members of the Three Rivers Branch of AALAS and, prior to his retirement, served as the longest standing president of the branch. He also worked diligently to bring the national AALAS meeting to Pittsburgh in 1994, which he for many years considered to be one of his crowning achievements.

Dr. Bramson was loved and cherished by his family, especially his wife, children and grandchildren, whom he loved immensely and boasted about frequently. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Toni Sue (Trout); children Heidi (Russ) Winslow and David (Kristen) Bramson; grandchildren Ryan (Jessie) Winslow, Cody Winslow, Emily Bramson, and Lucas Bramson; brothers Robert (Ruth) Bramson and Philip (Kay) Bramson; sister Ginger (Achmed) Bramson-Jimi and many nieces and nephews, all of whom will miss their talks with him, his smile, and especially his hugs dearly.

Give in memory of Dr. Paul Bramson and help keep his passion alive through the AALAS Foundation.   

Back to "In Memoriam"