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The Graduate College > Biochemistry > Gene A. Homandberg/James A. Hayashi Memorial Article
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Gene A. Homandberg

June 7, 1950 - December 21, 2009

Rush Medical College Department of Biochemistry 1988-2002

Gene A. Homandberg, PhD, a member of the biochemistry faculty between 1988 and 2002, passed away in Grand Forks on Monday, December 21, 2009 at the age of 59. Gene played many roles in the academic life of Rush University. Recognized internationally as a researcher who made innovative contributions to the field of osteoarthritis and joint metabolism, he probably is best remembered at Rush for his major contributions to the education of medical and graduate students. His generous service to Rush in various roles gained him many friends and followers. In recognition of his devotion to academic life, Rush awarded him the Dr. Ralph and Marian C. Falk Professor of Biochemistry Endowed Chair in 1996. Not to be outdone, the research community elected him to permanent membership in the Frontiers in Bioscience Society of Scientists.

He left Rush in 2002 to become the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. With typical enthusiasm, he extended his role to include medical and graduate college teaching and established his laboratory to provide training to graduate students. He transformed his teaching style to adapt the new medical college curriculum of Patient-Based Learning acknowledging his experience from the alternative curriculum at Rush.

We will remember Gene not only as a dedicated researcher and teacher, but also as a friend who was willing to share of himself with others and who left an indelible mark on our lives and careers. He will be missed.

James A. Hayashi

June 7, 1950 - December 21, 2009

Rush Medical College Department of Biochemistry 1988-2002

James A. Hayashi, PhD, was a member of the Department of Biochemistry from 1961 until his retirement in 2000. He received his training in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin under Professor Karl Paul Link (1901-1978), receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1956. He was then appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, where he taught biochemistry in the medical and pharmacy schools until he joined Rush in 1961 at the invitation of Dr. Max Rafelson, Chairman of Rush's Department of Biochemistry at that time.

During Hayashi's long and productive tenure at Rush, he was involved in a number of academic activities, including directorship of the toxicology/drug analysis unit of Rush's clinical chemistry laboratory, conduct of various research projects, and most importantly, teaching of medical, graduate, and medical technology students. During several summers in the 1990s, Hayashi served as teacher and counselor in a Robert Wood Johnson-supported program for disadvantaged minority students, who were being prepared for the medical school admissions process. During the normal academic year, Hayashi served as an effective counselor for minority and other Rush students, as well as a perennial member of the Rush Medical College admissions committee. For a number of years, he was also Rush Medical College's assistant dean of instruction.

James A. Hayashi, PhD, retired from Rush 10 years ago. He is still remembered. He will be missed by all who knew him.



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