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In Memoriam: Dave Leander

January 12, 2015

Dave LeanderDave Leander, former Lilly Research Fellow, died on November 14, 2014 at the age of about 70. He was recruited by Ray Fuller in ~1980 to come to Eli Lilly and Company from the Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He left a huge legacy within LRL in his mentorship of many, his advice on many strategic matters, and his accomplishments in discovery through development of multiple molecules that are now drugs in psychiatry and pain including fluoxetine, olanzapine, atomoxetine, duloxetine, pergolide, and a peripherally-restricted opioid antagonist out-licensed to Adolor Corporation. After his retirement in 2002, he started a consulting company that was able to bring several molecules through successful Phase 2 trials in short order.

In addition to his drug legacies, he will likely be best remembered in the field as a great in vivo and behavioral pharmacologist. He brought these skills to bear with precision in the development of many novel and still used in vivo pharmacodynamic models for multiple mechanisms including kappa opioids and NMDA receptors. He is also the pioneer who defined non-opioid mechanisms of action of meperidine (Demerol). Importantly, Dave is most thought of by his students, associates, and colleagues that he took under his wing; he was a dedicated and loving mentor and friend. He is survived by his wife Kathleen, three children, and grandchildren.

The funeral will be this Friday, November 21 at 2 pm. at Pleasant View Lutheran Church for those who would like to attend (801 W. 73rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260; (317) 253-0872).

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pleasant View Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 801 W. 73rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260, or to the Julian Center (In David's Name) 2011 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Arrangements: Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel. For more information, click here

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