The University of MichiganNews Services
The University Record Online
search
Updated 9:30 AM January 10, 2007
 

front

accolades

briefs

view events

submit events

UM employment


obituaries
police beat
regents round-up
research reporter
letters


archives

Advertise with Record

contact us
meet the staff
contact us
contact us

 
Obituaries
Martha Ludwig

Martha Ludwig, the J. Lawrence Oncley Distinguished University Professor of Biological Chemistry at the Medical School and senior research professor in the Biophysics Research Division, died Nov. 27.

Ludwig was one of the most distinguished scientists on campus, colleagues say. She joined the faculty in 1967 as an assistant professor and maintained an active research program until her death. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Frederic Hoch, professor emeritus of internal medicine and biological chemistry.
(File Photo/Courtesy Martha Ludwig)

Ludwig was recognized nationally and abroad as an X-ray crystallographer whose specialty was the structure and function of enyzmes that employ the vitamins riboflavin and B-12 as co-factors. As an assistant professor she solved the structure of the first flavin-containing protein to be structurally characterized. Subsequently her laboratory determined the structure of several other flavoproteins, often in collaboration with other faculty University members.

Her interests in B-12 stemmed from another collaborative project, spearheaded by a young graduate student, Catherine Drennan, who is now a tenured associate professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The structure of B-12 bound to a fragment of the enzyme methionine synthase was the first structure of that vitamin bound to a protein. Colleagues say exciting outcomes of her work were movies of molecules in motion, dancing through their catalytic roles.

Her scientific contributions have been recognized by the Garvan Medal of the American Chemical Society in 1984, by the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from U-M in 1986, by election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001, and by election to the National Academy of Science in 2003 and to the Institute of Medicine in 2006.

Ludwig was born in Pittsburgh in 1931, received her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Cornell University in 1952, her master's degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1955, and her doctoral degree in biochemistry at Cornell's Medical College in 1956, and then held postdoctoral positions at Harvard and MIT.

At Berkeley she developed scientific ties with Howard Schachman, who had major influences on her career. While at Harvard she worked with J. Lawrence Oncley and Margaret Hunter, and she continued lifelong collaborations with them at U-M. She did further postdoctoral training with future Nobel laureate William Lipscomb, with whom she solved the structure of carboxypeptidase A. This was the first structure of a protein to be determined in the United States, and colleagues say it signaled this rising star in the field of X-ray crystallography.

In addition to her research contributions, Ludwig has been recognized widely for the rigor of her teaching and training of graduate students, and for her many administrative responsibilities. To quote one of her former students, "Regardless of rank, all students and fellows in the Ludwig laboratory receive superb training. No computer program is ever treated as a black box U+00E2U+0080U+00A6 She spends enormous amounts of time with each of her students. I remember many five- to six-hour-long meetings, where we would sit down and write a paper together, or try to figure out why a crystallographic refinement was not working.

"Graduate students were included in brainstorming sessions about future experiments, as Martha encouraged us to think creatively about her projects. In addition to the training, Martha provided us with many opportunities to speak at national meetings and to network with well established scientists."

Ludwig served as chair of the Biophysics Research Division from 1986-89 and initiated the Molecular Biophysics Training Program at U-M, securing funding from the National Institutes of Health for this graduate training resource and providing leadership of the program for nearly 20 years. She also played a leading role in the development of the Michigan Life Science Corridor-funded synchrotron beam line.

This facility represented a $22 million dollar effort to construct a new facility for protein crystallography at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. This facility, which very recently became operational, provides an opportunity for structural biologists from all the participating institutions in Michigan to have access to the most advanced X-ray source for macromolecular crystallography. The development of this resource has brought together structural biologists from Wayne State and Michigan State universities, U-M and the VanAndel Institute. In particular, colleagues say, it has helped bring together a large and vibrant group of crystallographers at U-M.

Gifts in memory of Ludwig can be directed to the Martha L. Ludwig Memorial Fund and sent to the Department of Biological Chemistry, U-M Medical School, Ann Arbor MI 48109-0606. Checks should be made out to the University of Michigan.

Edmund Whale

Edmund Whale, 77, passed away Dec 3 at Glacier Hills Nursing Center.

He was born in Ishpeming, Mich., Sept. 13, 1929, to Ernest and Ruth Whale. He graduated from the U-M Medical School in 1954 and was a member of Alpha Kappa Kappa Honor Society.

He married Patricia Dalrymple June 16, 1954, in Mt. Carmel, Ill. He served in the U.S. Air Force at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Colleagues say he was a compassionate physician at the University Health Service in Ann Arbor from 1957 to 1997.

After retirement Whale volunteered at the U-M Cancer and Geriatric Center. He stayed active in area senior citizen centers, playing bridge several times a week. Family members say he was a talented musician on the marimba, piano and clarinet.

One of the highlights of his life was traveling by train to the 1947 Rose Bowl as a clarinetist in the Michigan Marching Band. He passed along his interest in music to his children and grandchildren.

Whale was a loving husband and father, family members say. He wrote nearly 3,000 letters to his children over a period of 30 years. Even with the advent of e-mail, he preferred to write letters, which he sent faithfully every Sunday.

"Like raindrops that collect together to form a lake, his letters became a flood of love," says his son, David Whale.

Edmund Whale is survived by his wife, as well as David (Diane) of Mt. Pleasant; his daughter, Barbara (Evan) Walters of Lebanon, Ind.; and his son Matthew of Ann Arbor. He also is survived by nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held Dec. 6 at Muehlig Funeral Chapel with Pastor Michael Wentzel officiating.

Gary Saxonhouse

Gary Saxonhouse, professor of economics, died Nov. 30 in Seattle, Wash., where he was being treated for leukemia. He was 63.

Saxonhouse was born in New York City in 1943. He received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Yale, and in 1970 began his academic career at U-M. A remarkably broad scholar, he published lasting work on the Japanese economy, international trade, economic history, law and economics, and economic development.

At the time of his death, he was working on "The Integration of Giants into the Global Economy," "Good Deflation/Bad Deflation and Japanese Economic Recovery" and (with his sometime co-author and longtime friend Gavin Wright of Stanford University) "Stretching Cotton Fibers around the World: Diffusion, Learning and Competing Paradigms in Spinning Technology."

Saxonhouse's early work focused on technical diffusion in the Japanese cotton-spinning industry. Spinning was the first industry that Japan came to dominate in the years before World War II, and Japan's rise in this industry produced many of the same types of political pressures that would be repeated as Japanese industry moved into other sectors in the postwar period.

By focusing on the causes and consequences of Japan's adoption and innovation of western technology, colleagues say Saxonhouse was able to understand the causes for Japan's rapid rise, develop important lessons for other developing countries and deepen understanding of the rise of unique labor market practices such as permanent employment.

Saxonhouse received many honors for his work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Institute for Advanced Study. He visited Brown University as the Henry R. Luce Professor of Comparative Development, and he received a coveted residency at the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation. He was a frequent recipient of the U-M's Faculty Recognition Award and a recipient of the LSA Excellence in Education Award.

In addition to his scholarship, Saxonhouse played an active role in public affairs. During the 1980s he published a series of careful econometric studies documenting how Japan's trade patterns could be explained by conventional trade theory and were not due to protectionist policies. Colleagues say these studies became a central piece of evidence for policy-makers seeking to resist protectionist pressures in the face of rising imports from Japan. Saxonhouse put these ideas into practice, serving as a senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisors and as a consultant to the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, Transportation and Treasury. He testified on numerous occasions before Congressional committees and served on several Congressional advisory panels. In Japan, he was a member of the American advisory board of the Japan Foundation and the academic advisory committee of the Policy Research Institute in the Ministry of Finance.

At Michigan, Saxonhouse taught regularly his undergraduate and graduate courses on the Japanese economy. He trained many of today's American economists who focus on Japan. He also schooled many elite members of Japan's civil service, who would spend a year at the University, away from their high-profile careers, to learn from him.

He is survived by his wife, Arlene Saxonhouse, the Caroline Robbins Professor of Political Science and Women's Studies at U-M; his children Lilly, Noam and Elena; his son-in-law Christopher Krenn and daughter-in-law Lisa Nichols; his grandchildren Hannah and Joseph Krenn; and his brother, Jack Saxonhouse.

A funeral service was held Dec. 5 at Temple Beth Israel. Memorial contributions may be made to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Contributions, J5-200, P.O. Box 19024, Seattle WA 98109/ www.fhcrc.org), Children's Hospital Oakland (747 52nd St., Oakland CA, 94609/ www.chofoundation.org), or Earthjustice (426 17th St., Sixth Floor, Oakland CA 94612, www.earthjustice.org).

Thomas Storer

Thomas Storer, professor emeritus of mathematics in LSA, died Nov. 9.

A familiar face on campus for 35 years, he was one of the first Native Americans to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics. Storer joined the University faculty as a T.H. Hildebrandt Research Instructor in 1965 after receiving his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was promoted through the ranks to professor in 1979.

Storer's research area was primarily in combinatorics, more specifically cyclotomy. His monograph "Cyclotomy and Difference Sets" (1967) became a standard reference. He also conducted research in modeling of long-term memory and recognition and directed the thesis work of numerous doctoral students.

Storer is most remembered in the Mathematics Department as an outstanding teacher and counselor who inspired his students and left a lasting impression. Colleagues say he was a dedicated instructor for honors calculus for many years. They also say his courses were among the most rigorous, and that his distinctive teaching style, coupled with great intellectual excitement, drew students to his classes. He received the Amoco Foundation Good Teaching Award in 1985.

Storer also had a great impact on students in his role as an undergraduate counselor in the Honors Program, a position he held for 32 years. It was in that role, colleagues say, where his integrity, sensitivity, patience and empathy for students enabled him not only to guide them academically, but also to help them become well-rounded individuals.

He touched the lives of students in many fields, and is well remembered as a strong influence in their lives.

"Tom Storer took a personal interest in his students' lives; you knew it was genuine, even if you never had the pleasure of meeting him outside the classroom," says Susan Kolodziejczyk (B.A. 1993, senior researcher, National Geographic Society). "Anywhere you found him—in his office, on a bench in the sun, at a favorite corner of the Brown Jug—he welcomed every smiling face."

It has been said that Storer was always teaching. He himself left the following legacy on his door upon retirement: "From where the sun now stands, I will teach no more forever." Besides mathematics and the honors program, Storer was an educator in U-M courses on Native American culture and the Ojibwa language.

Robert Megginson, professor of mathematics and associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education in LSA, remembers Storer fondly.

"Tom was a remarkable individual who cared deeply about students," Megginson says. "In my travels I have found it amazing how many former U-M students, American Indians and others, will find out that I am a U-M mathematician and then tell me of the difference Tom made in their lives and careers. We have lost one of our great educators and mentors, and he will be sorely missed."

For many years, Storer was the principal faculty spokesman for Native Americans. He worked closely with the U-M and Ann Arbor Native American community. His commitment to diversity and dedication to promoting equity and justice for all people was reflected in his receipt of the Dream Keeper Award.

Throughout his life, colleagues say, Storer shared his love and knowledge of string figures from around the world and became a leading authority. He pursued many different athletics during his lifetime, and taught several Mathematics Department members to play tennis. He had a deep love for freestyle Frisbee, and displayed his prowess regularly on the Diag. His Dalmatians were his much loved and constant companions.

Storer is survived by his wife, Karen; children, Eileen (Charles) Storer Smith and Jeannie (Trevor) Thrall; mother, Betty Tauer; and six grandchildren. Colleagues say he will always be remembered as being a true "Renaissance Man" filled with deep passion and joy.

Donations can be sent to the International String Figure Association: ISFA, P.O. Box 5734, Pasadena, CA 91117. Several years ago, the Thomas F. Storer Fund was established in the Department of Mathematics to support honors students. Donations can be sent to the Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043.


More Stories