March 28, 1926–July 2, 1985
BY WILLIAM THOMAS THACH, JR.
ON JULY 2, 1985, Edward Vaughan Evarts, Chief of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), died suddenly in his office from a myocardial infarction. He was fifty-nine years old and at the peak of his career.
Born in New York City, Evarts received his undergraduate education at Harvard College and was granted his M.D. by Harvard Medical School in 1948. After an internship at Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Evarts worked for one year with the psychoneurologist Karl Lashley at Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology in Orange Park, Florida, and for another year at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London. He completed his postdoctoral training with a two-year residency in psychiatry at the Payne Whitney Institute in New York. Evarts then began his lifelong association with the NIMH in Bethesda, upon his appointment as head of the section on physiology in its new Laboratory of Clinical Science directed by Seymour Kety. He remained in that position until he became chief of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology in 1970.
Evarts's neurobiological research spanned three and a half decades, starting with his work on the behavioral effects