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Remembering Kathryn Anderson and José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta

Posted by , on 7 December 2020


We at the Node and Development were greatly saddened to hear about the recent death of Kathryn Anderson, Professor & Chair of the Developmental Biology Program at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York,. Kathryn’s lab worked on the genetic pathways directing embryonic patterning and morphogenesis in the mouse embryo.

Over on the BSDB website, Phil Ingham has written an obituary for his friend and colleague

“Her attention to detail, sophisticated genetic manipulations and creative insights have led repeatedly to major, important, and unanticipated discoveries of new biological principles.”


We also point readers towards this tribute from Tamara Caspary on Twitter – the dozens of replies show how highly the community thought of Kathryn.


I was lucky enough to interview Kathryn for Development in 2016 – the year she won the SDB Edwin Conklin Medal. She was a generous interviewee and I can still remember sitting in Boston with her, bonding over our shared love of Radiohead!


Earlier in the year, we were similarly saddened to learn about the death of José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta, PI at the Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo in Seville who worked on vertebrate gene regulation, evolution and morphogenesis.

At the recent SEBD virtual meeting, a session on gene regulation was held to honour José Luis, and the society also announced the launch of the ‘José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta Awards for scientific excellence in Developmental Biology’. This year, the award were won by Manuel Irimia and Alvaro Rada-Iglesias.

At the CABD website you can find a series of memorial videos for Gómez-Skarmeta that played at the meeting.

Last week, Development published an obituary of Gómez-Skarmeta from his friends and colleagues Fernando Casares, Miguel Allende, José Félix de Celis, Acaimo Gónzalez-Reyes and Juan Ramón Martínez-Morales.

“José Luis’ motto was ‘the success of any of us is a success for all’. The influence of José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta will be very long-lasting, and goes well beyond science. His enthusiasm, honesty, brightness, drive, support and generosity have made many of us better scientists and people.”


In the obituary the authors share lyrics from this song as a tribute to José Luis:


We also point readers towards obituaries in Nature Genetics by Ozren Bogdanovic and Manuel Irimia and on the International Zebrafish Society homepage by Miguel L. Allende, Shawn M. Burgess, Miguel A. Moreno-Mateos, Juan-Ramon Martinez-Morales, and Ferenc Mueller.



If you want to share you memories of Kathryn or José Luis, feel free to leave a comment or register here to write a post. 



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