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Dec 30, 2013

Distinguished Scientists Who Died in 2013

  • The scientific community is deeply indebted to many individuals whose pioneering work in previous decades either laid the foundation for ongoing research or revealed new paths that have yet to be fully explored. It would be nearly impossible to acknowledge all the scientists who have contributed to life science research in the past, but the closing of 2013 gives us an opportunity to pay our final respects to notable scientists who died this year. Listed below are 10 scientists who have impressed and inspired us.

    Robert Geoffrey Edwards, a Nobel Prize-winning English physiologist and pioneer in reproductive medicine and in-vitro fertilization (IVF), died in April at age 87. Edwards’ research led to the birth of the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978

    François Jacob, who won a Nobel Prize in 1965 for his role in discovering how genes are regulated, died on April 19 in Paris. He was 92. He is credited with giving impetus to the emerging field of molecular developmental biology and transcriptional regulation.

    Christian de Duve, a Belgian cytologist and biochemist, died in May at age 95. He discovered two eukaryotic organelles, peroxisome and lysosome, for which he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1974.

    Peter Huttenlocher, professor emeritus and former section chief of pediatric neurology at the University of Chicago Medicine, died in August. He was 82. Huttenlocher was known for his research on pediatric neurological disorders and especially for a series of studies on synaptic density and neural plasticity in children.

    Stephen Malawista, professor of medicine within the rheumatology department of Yale University, whose research led to the discovery of Lyme disease, died in September. He was 79.

    Leonard Herzenberg, an immunologist, geneticist, and professor at Stanford University, died in October at 81. His research led to the creation of the fluorescence-activated cell sorter (generically known as the flow cytometer), revolutionizing cell biology.

    Frederick Sanger, the British biochemist and double Nobel laureate whose research laid essential groundwork for the sequencing of amino acids and later DNA, died in November at age 95.

    Fred Kavli, business leader, inventor, and philanthropist, died in November at age 86. The Kavli Foundation, formed in 2000, has made grants to 16 universities to support Kavli Institutes, funded six professorships, and also created the Kavli Prize, which gives one-million-dollar awards to recognize scientists for seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

    Janet D. Rowle, the Blum-Riese distinguished service professor of medicine, molecular genetics and cell biology, and human genetics at the University of Chicago, was the first person to show a conclusive link between certain genetic abnormalities and certain cancers. She died in December at age 88.

    John W. Cornforth, who won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1975, died in December. He was 96. Dr. Cornforth was awarded the Nobel for research that helped reveal the chemical steps necessary for the body to produce a precursor to cholesterol and the role of enzymes in shepherding such reactions.



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