College of Science & Engineering Alumni Newsletter
In Memoriam: Physical Chemist Don Eden
Don Eden, who has been a professor of Chemistry
and Biochemistry for 18 years at San Francisco State University (SFSU),
died August 23, 2000, in San Francisco at the age of 55, after a short
illness. He is survived by his wife, Lisba Fowler; mother, Ernie, of Cleveland,
Ohio; aunt Anne van Biema, of New York City; and numerous cousins. His
father, Paul, and brother, Lanny, are deceased.
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from University of Michigan in 1966, he went on to receive a doctorate in Physical Chemistry from MIT in 1971. He performed postdoctoral research in Physics at New York University and City College of New York from 1971-1974. Dr. Eden was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at California State University, Fullerton, from 1971-1974, and at Yale University from 1976-1982. He joined the faculty at SFSU in 1982 and was promoted to full professor in 1985.
Dr. Eden was awarded a prestigious National Institute of Health Research Career Development Award during his initial years at SFSU and received other major research grants during his tenure here. Dr. Eden was an internationally recognized physical chemist. He invented and developed electro-optical instruments and theory, which he used to investigate the internal motions of biological molecules. His research programs included studies of DNA, the genetic material of all living things, and of several nano-motor molecules that occur in muscle, the brain, and dividing cells. Dr. Eden was an active member of the Biophysical Society and gave many presentations at national and international conferences. His research findings have been published in numerous scientific journals. He received the California State University Biotechnology Faculty Research Award for 1997-98. Beginning in 1998, he served on the Executive Committee of the Biotechnology (CSUPER). Dr. Edenís students meant a great deal to him and he dedicated himself to ensuring they received a quality education.
Dr. Eden provided the University with $100,000 to establish and support the Eden Academic Excellence Award in Chemistry and Physics. Dr. Eden established the criteria before he died, and these criteria reflect his unconditional commitment to academic excellence. The purposes of the award, as specified by Dr. Eden, are to attract academically excellent students into the B.S. degree programs in Chemistry and Physics and to reward students staying in the programs for their excellent performance in upper division core and advanced courses. The Eden Academic Excellence Award represents Donís dedication to SFSUís undergraduate students and to the educational programs that prepare these students for careers as chemists and physicists.
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