Distinguished Professor Emeritus Peter Albersheim passed away July 23 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. A pioneer in what is now known as interdisciplinary research, Albersheim and Regents Professor Alan Darvill founded the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center in September 1985.
Albersheim spent 21 years as a professor of biochemistry in the departments of chemistry and molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Colorado in Boulder prior to coming to the University of Georgia. He received his B.S. in plant pathology in 1956 from Cornell University and his doctorate in biochemistry in 1959 from the California Institute of Technology.
Darvill and Albersheim co-directed the CCRC as well as their combined research teams. Albersheim was also co-director of the Department of Energy-funded Center for Plant and Microbial Complex Carbohydrates. From 1990 to 2002, he was director of the National Institutes of Health-supported Resource Center for Biomedical Complex Carbohydrates. He was the 1973 recipient of the Charles A. Shull Award of the American Society of Plant Physiologists and in 1984 of the Kenneth A. Spencer Award of the American Chemical Society. A frequently invited speaker to special symposia, meetings of scientific societies, and to civic, commercial and academic organizations in the U.S. and around the world, Albersheim worked with government, corporate and private entities to build strong coalitions that continue to value and foster research across the university and across the state.
Albersheim is survived by his wife, Ivana; his first wife, Joyce, and their son, James Walter; daughters, Renee and Stephi; grandchildren, Anthony Peter and Katie Lynn; and sister, Anne Gertrude.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at www.michaeljfox.org.