Ira Herskowitz, professor of genetics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), died at home on April 28 of pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

Remembered for clarity of mind, exceptional science, enthusiastic teaching, and a love of music, his death sent a shock throughout the yeast community this week, where Herskowitz made many great contributions and friends.

"It's a great loss to us all," said Paul Nurse, Nobel Laureate and new president of The Rockefeller University. "Ira Herskowitz had a huge influence on the yeast field and on me personally." Laureate Leland Hartwell, president of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center told The Scientist in an e-mail, "I'll bet there are few scientists in genetics, molecular and cell biology who were not personally affected by him."

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Herskowitz moved with his family about the country as father Irwin, a Drosophila geneticist, took various academic positions. Herskowitz...

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