Richard A. Steinhardt

We are saddened to announce the death of Dr. Richard A. Steinhardt, Professor Emeritus at University of California Berkeley, on July 10, 2014, in Bellingham, WA at age 74. Dr. Steinhardt was a long time associate and supporter of MBL, who first came to Woods Hole as a youth to work as a “distilled water carrier” in 1956-1957.

Dr. Steinhardt received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1966 and after spending a year as a postdoctoral fellow with Sir Alan Hodgkin and Sir Richard Keynes at Cambridge University, England, he joined the University of California at Berkeley as an assistant professor of Zoology. After making major discoveries in collaboration with David Epel and Daniel Mazia of ionic transients in the egg during sea urchin fertilization, Dr. Steinhardt renewed his association with MBL as guest lecturer in summer courses and he maintained research space from mid 1970s to mid 1980s. Later as his research interests shifted to intracellular calcium regulation of other cellular functions, such as neurotransmitter release, muscle contraction, mitosis and membrane resealing, his direct association with MBL diminished, although he maintained a vigorous interest in the role of MBL in research and education. He retired in 2005, and later moved to Orcas Island in the San Juans, where he indulged his passion for sailing his Nordic tug and became an accomplished photographer.

Dr. Steinhardt is survived by his wife and research collaborator, Janet Alderton of Orcas Island, his daughters Alicia (Nevin) Hougardy and Katherine (Tom) Coates, and five grandchildren.

A named seat in Lillie Auditorium, sponsored by members of Steinhardt Lab, will be dedicated in his memory.