Felix Strumwasser

The MBL flag will be lowered in memory of MBL Corporation member Dr. Felix Strumwasser, a highly respected Research Scientist in the field of Neurophysiology, who died on April 19, 2007. An obituary provided to the MBL by his family is below.

Felix Strumwasser (1934-2007)

Dr. Felix Strumwasser, age 73, a highly respected Research Scientist in the field of Neurophysiology, died at Flagler Hospital, St. Augustine, Florida, on April 19, 2007, following a courageous battle with cancer. His career spanned some five decades and he remained active in the laboratory until the end.

Dr. Strumwasser was born April 16, 1934, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, British West Indies, to the late Oscar and Gusta Strumwasser. He was always the intellectual, attending UCLA at the early age of 15 and earning a B.A. (Zoology) at the age of 19, followed by a Ph.D. (Neurophysiology/Zoology) from UCLA, in 1957. As a Neurophysiologist, when he was not teaching, Dr. Strumwasser lead a research laboratory for twenty years at the California Institute of Technology, CA, focusing on the mechanisms of sleep and procedures for measuring cellular activity, there publishing still frequently cited data and articles paving the way for continued advances and research in the field.

Dr. Strumwasser continued his work at The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where he enjoyed an abundant supply of Aplysia, the marine mollusk that harbored the ideal (large) cells conducive to his research. From 1987-1992, he was the Senior Scientist and Director of the Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, at MBL, where he was awarded NIH grants for his work. As a professor, he continued his research at prestigious universities and facilities, including Boston University School of Medicine, the National Science Foundation, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where his highly disciplined approach and tireless intellect served many.

Perhaps most important, as Dr. Strumwasser recently reflected about a late colleague, he too certainly deserves to be remembered as a humble man, who did not find it necessary to be mean, backbiting or boastful to advance in academia. He was inviting, open-minded, honest, and inspiring, and improved the lives of his students, colleagues, and friends whenever he could. He was dedicated to his friend, Phyllis, and his family, four sons and a daughter, and his five grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by all who got to know him, and I am sure not forgotten. In summary, along with those Dr. Strumwasser loved and admired, he undoubtedly was among the best that Homo sapiens has to offer.