Dr. Thomas R. Kadesch, interim chair and professor in the department of genetics in the School of Medicine, passed away January 12 after pancreatic surgery. He was 58.
Dr. Kadesch earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 1975 at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1980.
After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry at Stanford University, Dr. Kadesch joined Penn in 1984 as an assistant professor of human genetics and an assistant investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was promoted to associate professor and associate investigator in 1990. He became a full professor in 1996.
Dr. Kadesch’s research concentrated on ways in which cells control the expression of their genes with a focus on a particular molecular process called the Notch signaling pathway that is critical to cell differentiation.
Editor of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology from 1992 to 1996 and a member of its editorial board from 1991 to 1993, Dr. Kadesch was also a member of the American Society for Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Kadesch is survived by his wife, Abigail Huntington-Kadesch; a son, Alex; a daughter, Hanna; a stepson, Nikko Mueller; a stepdaughter, Rebecca Mueller; and two sisters.
A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 1, at Jon M. Huntsman Hall.
Contributions for the Tom Kadesch Prize in Genetic Research, to be awarded annually to a graduate student, may be sent to the Penn Medicine Office of Development and Alumni Relations, Suite 750, 3535 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.
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