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Volume 55, Number 14   November 12, 2007         

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In Memoriam

Assistant Professor of Biology Felipe-Andres Ramirez-Weber lost his valorous battle with leukemia on Nov. 1. Before joining the SF State faculty in 2003, he taught at California State University, Fullerton. A graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Ramirez-Weber held a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Ramirez-Weber's research in bioinformatics as part of SF State's Center for Computing in Science, focused on the hedgehog-signaling pathway, a process of cellular responses linked to making the body more susceptible to certain kinds of cancer. He developed the Hedgehog signaling pathway database, accessible to scientists worldwide, which launched SF State's reputation as a leader in bioinformatics.

Associate Professor of Biology Carmen Domingo, who pursued her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley at the same time as Ramirez-Weber, said his work was regarded by distinguished faculty as stellar. She noted that during his postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, San Francisco, Ramirez-Weber made a very significant discovery on how cells communicate with each other during embryogenesis. His discovery was covered in numerous distinguished publications, including Nature.

"I felt very fortunate to have Felipe-Andres as a friend, but also as a colleague in our department," said Domingo. "I knew he would make a tremendous difference at SFSU. As a Latino with strong ties to his indigenous Chilean roots, he was a champion of providing educational opportunities to underrepresented minorities. He was a terrific role model, colleague and friend, and he will be missed by many across our campus as well as at other institutions."

All of his colleagues said Ramirez-Weber will be remembered for the love and care he showed everyone, particularly his wife Heidi and parents Elena and Ivan Ramirez -- relationships that fed his intense desire to beat leukemia.

The Ramirez-Weber family invites all students, faculty and staff to celebrate Felipe-Andres' life at a memorial service at 4 p.m. on Monday, November 12 at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street in San Francisco.

Donations in Ramirez-Weber's memory can be made to Habitat for Humanity, the Leukemia Society or to an SF State scholarship fund that is being established in his name. Checks should be made out to San Francisco State University with "in memory of FARW" on the notation line, and sent to SF State Development Department, Gift Processing. Online donations can be made at

Condolences to the family may be addressed to Heidi Ramirez-Weber, 1240 Cedar St., Berkeley, CA 94702 and/or Elena and Ivan Ramirez, 1801 Mendocino St., Richmond, CA 94801.



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Last modified November 12, 2007 by University Communications