Leonard L. Ross, who as a researcher and administrator helped two Philadelphia medical schools build national reputations, died Friday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital from complications following heart surgery. He was 85.

Mr. Ross, of West Chester, has a doctorate and rose in the 1990s to become provost of Hahnemann University and dean of the consolidated Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University.

Even in retirement, he continued learning and teaching, serving as a volunteer at the Franklin Institute until just a month before his death.

"Leonard Ross led a full and meaningful life," said his daughter, Jane Camp. "He never wasted a day. His thirst for knowledge branched out in many directions: science, history, religion, and current events."

Mr. Ross was born and raised in Queens, N.Y., and earned a degree in biology from New York University. After serving as an Army medic in post-war Germany, he returned to NYU for graduate degrees in zoology and anatomy.

In the 1950s, Mr. Ross taught anatomy at the University of Alabama Medical and Dental Colleges. He also established the first electron microscopy facility at the University of Alabama Medical Center.

Mr. Ross later taught at Cornell University and was recruited in 1973 to the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He stayed there until retiring in 1998.

He was a member and leader of numerous associations and was the recipient of the Lindback distinguished teaching award.

Marcella, his wife of 45 years, died in 1995.

Mr. Ross is survived by his second wife, Frances; daughters Jane Camp, Jill Ross Stein and Jennifer Robb; and a grandson, Harry Ross Stein.

A graveside funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Haym Salomon Memorial park in Frazer.