Dr. Robert D. Myers, age 79, Professor Emeritus of East Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina, passed away at the Lehigh Hope Hospice, Lehigh, Florida, on July 16, 2011.
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He was born October 25, 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the late Clarence N. and Martha L. Myers. He attended Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He received a B.S. degree from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania in 1953, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in 1954 and 1956 respectively. On December 20, 1953, he was united in marriage to Marjorie A. Fretz in Souderton, Pennsylvania.
In 1956, Bob and Margie moved to Hamilton, New York, where he served as an Assistant and Associate Professor at Colgate University, as well as Director of its Research Council. In 1960, he spent one year at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Neurophysiology. He moved his family to London, England in 1963, where he spent two years as a visiting scientist in Physiology and Pharmacology at the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill; in 1969 he returned to Mill Hill as Visiting Professor of Pharmacology. In 1965, he was named Professor of Psychological and Biological Sciences at Purdue University, serving as Director of the Psychobiology and Neurobiology Programs from 1968 to 1978. In 1975 he was a visiting Professor at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia. In 1978, he was appointed Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and from 1979 to 1987 served as Director of the Bowles Biomedical Research Laboratory at U.N.C. In 1987, he was named joint Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatric Medicine at the East Carolina University School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina. He was also Director of the Research Division at E.C.U.'s Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies. In 1996, the University Board of Trustees named him Distinguished Research Professor of Pharmacology. Bob retired from E.C.U. in 1998, at age 67, as Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of Pharmacology. Bob and Margie have been living in Fort Myers, Florida since January, 2011.
Bob was the author of over 500 scientific publications and served on many national and international committees, including: the National Science Foundation Panels for Psychobiology and Neurobiology, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke, the U.S. Veterans Administration, the National Institute of Environmental Health Science and the National Institutes of Health Aids-Related Programs. Bob was an active member in many Societies, including the American Physiological Society, the American Society for Pharmacology, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also President of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society from 1994 to 1995. He wrote and edited several books, including authoring the Handbook of Drug and Chemical Stimulation of the Brain, editing and contributing to the three volume series on Methods in Psychobiology, and co-editing Neurohumoral Coding of Brain Function, and Neurochemical Analysis of the Conscious Brain. He was the major professor for over 100 Ph.D and Post Doctoral Students, many of whom came from around the world to work with Bob, and many of whom are quite active in the field of medicine today.
Bob, along with his wife Margie, were the Founders and Editors of ALCOHOL, the international biomedical journal. Bob also served on the editorial boards of numerous journals, including: Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Brain Research Bulletin, Physiology and Behavior, Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, and Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.
His awards and honors include the 1966 Ursinus College Outstanding Alumni Award, the 1971 Purdue Sigma Xi Award, the 1982 LaTrobe University Award, the 1984 Honorary Doctoral Degree from University of Granada, Spain, the 1985 Belgrade University, Yugoslavia Medal, the 1988 Granada, Spain Medical School Medal, the 1996 East Carolina University Sigma Xi Award, and the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research, also from East Carolina University. He was a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society.
Bob's hobbies included a good game of golf, as well as gardening, music and travelling. He and Margie worked as a team, side by side for many years. They travelled the world together and spent a lot of their spare time in retirement visiting family and at their second home on the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina. He and Margie loved hosting parties for all of their students and staff through the years, and he always enjoyed a spirited intellectual discussion on any topic. He was a passionate college football and basketball fan, not missing many home games of any university where he taught and performed research, and loved to attend the games with his family. For the last two years, he enjoyed the fellowship and friendship of the members of the Golden K Kiwanis Club in Greenville.
Bob is survived by Margie, his wife of 57 years, his son and wife Bob and Solange, his son and wife Jim and Mary, his daughter and husband Elizabeth and Steve Eubanks, his daughter and husband Anne and Robert Sheaff, as well as ten grandchildren; Melissa, Daniel, Michael, Katherine, Christine, Eric, Emilie, Marc, Marjorie and George. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends and work colleagues. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an older brother Richard.
A memorial service will be held on July 23rd, at 10:00am at the Williams-Bergey-Koffel Funeral Home, in Telford, Pennsylvania. Bob will be buried at the George Washington Memorial Cemetery in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Published in The Daily Reflector on July 19, 2011