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Ludwig Scientific Advisor Christopher Walsh dies at 79

Christopher Walsh, Ludwig Cancer Research
Christopher Walsh

Christopher Walsh, who served from 2011 to 2016 as a scientific advisor to the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, died on January 10, 2023, from injuries sustained in a fall. An enzymologist of considerable renown, Chris was also famed for his research on antibiotics, especially his elucidation of the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. He was among the founders of the discipline of chemical biology and the author of more than 800 scientific articles and 10 books, including a classic of his field, Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms. Chris demonstrated his scientific acumen at an early age. Working with the legendary biologist E.O. Wilson and John Law as an undergraduate researcher at Harvard College, he identified the pheromone with which fire ants mark their scent trails, publishing his discovery in July, 1965, in Nature. He then earned a PhD at Rockefeller University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Brandeis University before joining MIT in 1972, where he rose to become chair of the Department of Chemistry. Chris was recruited to Harvard Medical School as the founding chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 1987 and served from 1992-95 as president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute before returning to full-time research. He was the Hamilton Kuhn Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Emeritus, at Harvard Medical School at the time of his death.

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