Dr. Brancati chaired committees in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Diabetes Prevention Program, and the federal Look AHEAD — Action for Health in Diabetes — trials.

Dr. Brancati also had many accomplishments as director of the division of General Internal Medicine.

"When there were hiring freezes at Hopkins, he was still able to hire, and knew how to work the system," said Dr. Appel. "When he was sick with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, he wrote a major grant that resulted in $20 million coming to Hopkins."

In 2011, Dr. Brancati was presented the Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology from the American Diabetes Association and the Chief of the Year Award from the Association of Chiefs & Leaders of General Internal Medicine.

Dr. Brancati was diagnosed three years ago with the disease that ended his life.

Dr. Brancati had been married for 33 years to his high school sweetheart, Dr. Elizabeth M. Jaffee, a prominent cancer researcher who is the Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor of Oncology and co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

"I was going through Fred's wallet and he had kept our prom tickets," said Dr. Jaffee. "He was my best friend."

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Brancati is survived by his twin daughters, Maddy Brancati and Franny Brancati, 16, both students at Dulaney High School; his mother, Lee Brancati of Cockeysville; and a sister, Mary Lee Saarbach of Cockeysville.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com