Steven Edward Mayer, Ph.D. Died on June 29, 2010 after a long illness. Born in Frankfurt, Germany on February 11, 1929, Steven was the only child of Ernst and Irmgard Kaufmann Mayer. In 1938, he and his mother narrowly escaped the Holocaust by immigrating to Holland and then to the United States, where they joined his father in Chicago, IL and subsequently became US citizens. At 16, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, graduating with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, both with honors. After two years in medical school at the University of Chicago, he took a leave of absence to do research in pharmacology at the University of Illinois, Chicago, earning a Ph.D. degree in 1954. He then served in the Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC and worked at Washington University in St. Louis. In 1957, he joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and remained there until 1969, when he moved to the University of California at San Diego, as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Pharmacology. In 1985, he relocated to Nashville as Visiting Professor in Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine until he retired in 1995, as Professor Emeritus at the University of California at San Diego.
During his long and distinguished academic career, Dr. Mayer received many honors, including the John Jacob Abel Award, President of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics , Associate Editor of the revered pharmacology textbook, Goodman and Gilman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, and editor of the major scientific journal, Molecular Pharmacology. His laboratory research on fat and cardiac muscle metabolism was recognized internationally for its innovation and rigor. He will also be remembered for his love of chamber music and his vast collection of CDs. Throughout the years as an academic scientist and in retirement, he continued to experiment with and to enjoy photographing the wonders of nature.
Dr. Mayer is survived by his wife of twenty-two years, Elaine Sanders Bush; a daughter Stephanie (Todd Marshall) in Boulder, CO; a son Alex (Suzanne Van Dam) in Hancock, MI; former wife, Jean Mayer, of San Diego, CA; a stepdaughter, Kate Bush Loyco (Michael) in Nashville, TN; and his grandchildren, Peter and Arthur Mayer, Rachel Marshall, and Lucy Loyco. There will be a celebration of Dr. Mayer’s life later this summer in Nashville. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) for the Steven E. Mayer Travel Fund or to the Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego (9500 Gilman Drive, Dept. 0636, La Jolla, California 92093).
Prepared by Elaine Sanders-Bush