Agnes Schonbrunn, Ph.D., professor of integrative biology and pharmacology and vice chair of the Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, died June 10, 2017. She was 68.
She joined both the medical school and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences faculty in 1988. She previously served on the Harvard University School of Public Health faculty.
She earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Brandeis University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology at Harvard University. She completed the Institute of Managerial Leadership at The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Business.
Schonbrunn’s research examined signaling mechanisms and regulation of receptors for neuroendocrine peptides and focused on three general areas related to somatostatin receptor function. Her work was featured in more than 100 publications.
During her career, she received several honors including numerous Dean’s Teaching Excellence awards from the Medical School as well as the Graduate School and the Gerald D. Aurbach Lecture Award from the Endocrine Society (2002). She also was very active in the Endocrine Society, Women in Endocrinology, and The Pituitary Society.
“For me, I will remember her passion for science, her fastidious and diligent teaching and her extraordinary generosity and collegiality,” said John F. Hancock, M.B., B.Chir., Ph.D., ScD, executive director, The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine; professor and chair, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology; John S Dunn Distinguished University Chair in Physiology and Medicine; vice dean for Basic Research, McGovern Medical School. “The department and medical school would not be what they are today without her contributions over so many years.”
She is survived by her husband, David Steffen, and her children, Michael and Matthew. She was buried at Fernwood Cemetery in California, with a memorial service held at Beth Yeshurun in Houston.