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Samuel Eiduson 1918-2007
Samuel Eiduson
1918-2007

Dr. Samuel Eiduson, Emeritus Professor of Biological Chemistry, and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, passed away June 19, 2007, at the age of 88.

Dr. Eiduson was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. Sam came to Los Angeles in 1938 to attend UCLA as an undergraduate. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1947 after a break in his education to join the Signal Corps as a First Lieutenant, Cryptographic Maintenance Officer, U.S. Army, United States and South Pacific Theatres. Sam then went on to obtain his Ph.D. in biochemistry from UCLA in l952. Sam founded the Neurobiochemistry Laboratory at the Brentwood V.A. Hospital, one of the early laboratories in the United States to devote itself to the study of the biochemistry of the brain, in 1955. He returned to UCLA full-time in 1961, and was continually active in the neuroscience community, both in research and in interdisciplinary education in the neurosciences. Prior to the official initiation of the Neuroscience Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program in 1968, he served on the executive committee of UCLA's pioneering Mental Health Training Program.

Sam’s early research involved the metabolism of the neuroleptics, adrenocortical hormones and the discovery that 5HT decarboxylase differed from DOPA decarboxylase, eventually becoming the AAD (aromatic amino acid decarboxylase) accepted today. He then went on to the study of monoamine oxidase (MAO), gradually dissecting it into its various forms of Type A and B by direct chromatographic analysis and later by techniques such as electron spin resonance. In the course of these studies he examined platelet MAO, examined the MAO’s of schizophrenics, showed phosphatidylserine inhibition of platelet MAO-B and, among other things, examined the relationship between phosphatidylserine content and MOA-B activity in chronic paranoid schizophrenics.

Sam spent nearly his entire academic career at UCLA. He became a Professor (in residence) in the Departments of Biological Chemistry, and Psychiatry & Biobehavorial Sciences in 1973. At the same time he served as the first Associate Director for Education in the Brain Research Institute (BRI). In 1974 Sam also became the first Chairman of the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Ph.D. Program, in the BRI.

During his career Sam published numerous scientific papers, authored several textbooks, and contributed chapters to many more. Sam was a consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as a recipient of numerous professional honors. He was a member of several professional societies, including the American Society of Biological Chemists, the American Society for Neurochemistry, International Society for Neurochemistry, the Society for Neuroscience, International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Sam “officially” retired in 1989.

Sam was married to Bernice, also a UCLA professor, until her death in 1985. In l987 he married Myrna. Sam is survived by his wife Myrna, his brothers Hyman and Sidney, his son David and grandchildren Nicholas and Isabella. He is also survived by Myrna's children Judith, Janet, and Jeffrey and his wife Connie, and grandchildren, Bradley and his wife Kate, and Bethann.

Just a month ago, the BRI celebrated the 15th Annual Samuel Eiduson Lecture, established in his honor to recognize an outstanding neuroscience graduate student. Sam attended every Eiduson Student Lecture. Those of us who knew Sam count ourselves fortunate in having known and worked with someone who not only made irreplaceable contributions to his field and the UCLA neuroscience community, but who was a person of great dedication, integrity, and kindness. We will miss him very much.

We will be holding a memorial in Sam's honor on Friday, September 28, 2007 at the UCLA Faculty Center from 4:00 – 8:00 pm. More details about the memorial will follow; to RSVP or for more information, please contact Linda Maninger (e-mail: lmaninger@mednet.ucla.edu; phone 310-825-6055). We hope that you will be able to join us to celebrate the life of Sam Eiduson and his many contributions.

The Samuel Eiduson Student Lecture Program Fund has been set up to help support the Eiduson Lecture program. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Eiduson Student Lecture Program Fund.

Checks should be made out to "The UCLA Foundation" and in a cover letter, or in the memo section of the check, designated for the Eiduson Student Lecture Program Fund. Donations should be mailed to:

Barbara Cross, CAO
UCLA Brain Research Institute
Box 951761
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1761

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