Peter Lengyel
1929 - 2020
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Lengyel, Peter
Peter Lengyel, 90, of Woodbridge, died peacefully on April 21, 2020 in his home with his family nearby. He was born on May 24, 1929, in Budapest, Hungary, to the late Mihaly and Alice (Koszeg) Lengyel. Though he and his parents survived the Holocaust, they lost many relatives. Peter was greatly influenced by his grandfather, Maximilian Koszeg, a physician, who advised young Peter to pursue a career in science rather than in medicine, since doctors knew too little. Peter and his future wife Suzanna Kadar left Hungary in 1956 after the failed Hungarian Uprising. They married in Vienna and then came to America as refugees, both 27 years old. They settled in New York City so Peter could pursue his PhD. at NYU with Severo Ochoa. As a graduate student, Peter worked on deciphering the genetic code. The family spent a year in Paris in 1963-64. Peter was at the Pasteur Institute with Jacques Monod.
Starting in 1965, for over 40 years, Peter was a professor at Yale University in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He loved research. He spent many years studying protein synthesis, interferon, and the regulation and modulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. He loved music, art, nature, travel, and long walks with his wife, and he had a wonderful sense of humor. Peter is survived by his children Carole Lengyel (and her husband Satori Iwamoto) of East Greenwich, RI, and Michael Lengyel of New York, NY, and his grandchildren Alex, Nicholas, and Peter Iwamoto. He was predeceased by Suzanna in 2019. Thanks to Laurie Luce, Stephen, Lume, Diana, Matthew, and Joyce, who were Peter's caregivers in his final years.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a memorial service is postponed. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Peter's memory to the International Rescue Committee ( Please send his family a condolence @

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Published in The New Haven Register on Apr. 27, 2020.
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April 29, 2020
I was Peter's first Ph.D student. I joined him at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where he was a guest in Joe Speyer's lab before moving his lab to Yale. We spent six very intense months working together on mechanisms of protein synthesis, mostly away from our families who were in Manhattan (his) and New Haven (mine) . He was one of the most knowledgeable biochemists I have known. He was also a great mentor. Our families were quite close and I well remember our twins Mark and Debbie playing with his and Suzanna's children Carole and Michael. My wife Brenda and I will greatly miss Suzanna and Peter. Our heartfelt condolences to Carole and Michael.
Art Skoultchi
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