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Rowland Hallowell Davis

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Rowland Hallowell Davis Obituary
July 18, 2015 Rowland Hallowell Davis, 1933-2015 Rowland Hallowell Davis was a leading figure in the field of microbial genetics who served as a Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of California, Irvine for thirty years before retiring in 2005 and suffering a stroke in 2008. He died at his home in Laguna Beach on Saturday July 18, after a brief illness, at the age of 81. Rowland Davis received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1958, held a National Science Foundation fellowship at the California Institute of Technology from 1958 to 1960, and taught at the University of Michigan from 1960 to 1975 before coming to Irvine. He became a central researcher in the biochemical and fungal genetics scientific communities as a result of his fundamental contributions to the understanding of nutrient metabolism in cells. He showed that the metabolism of nutrients could be regulated by separating pathways that generate and consume nutrients into different compartments of the cell. This research relied on studies of the fungus Neurospora crassa, a key model system for early molecular biology that allowed him to use genetic recombination and mutation to determine how metabolism is regulated. Davis published over a hundred articles in the course of his research, as well as two books: "Neurospora: Contributions of a Model Organism" published by Oxford University Press in 2000, and "The Microbial Models of Molecular Biology" also published by Oxford in 2003. His academic distinctions included being named as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also considered an excellent teacher by his students, and earned an Excellence in Teaching award at UC Irvine in 2000. Rowland Davis is survived by his wife, Margot Norris, his step-mother Nancy Gilson Davis, nephews Daniel Hessey and Steven Davis, and nieces Susan Hessey and Brooke Graves.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 23 to July 24, 2015
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