August 5, 1928 – September 28, 2013
Dr. R. Wayne Albers, Ph.D., Scientist Emeritus, Chief of Section on Enzyme Chemistry (retired), Laboratory of Neurochemistry in the NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD, died September 28, 2013. He was 85 years old and is survived by his former wife, Frances Albers, their children, Gail Morrell, Belinda Caron and Patricia Steinhoff, 8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. He also had a son, the late Jonathan Albers.
Dr. Albers is a world-recognized neuroscientist most noted for his research in the field of membrane cation transport and neuronal excitability in the nervous system. Wayne Albers and physiologist R.L. Post at the University of Pennsylvania performed the principal experiments leading to their now widely-held Albers-Post model for the mechanism of the cation transport enzyme, sodium-potassium-activated ATPase.
Dr. Albers was one of the founding co-editors of the comprehensive text, Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects, first published in 1972, continuing as co-editor for 8 editions, the latest having been published in 2012. This text has evolved as expected over these editions with the emergence of the field of neurochemistry. Wayne’s great knowledge and understanding of the history and of the advancing field of biochemical research were key to development of the text over the past 4 decades. Wayne Albers has been regarded as a pioneering intellect in the field of nervous system biochemistry and whom, through his own research, editing and writing, has helped bring the biochemical perspective to the burgeoning modern field of neuroscience. After receiving his Ph.D. with Oliver Lowry in the Department of Pharmacology at Washington University School of Medicine in 1954, Dr. Albers embarked on a distinguished career of research at the NIH, being a founding investigator, along with Roscoe Brady, in the first Laboratory of Neurochemistry with Donald Tower as Laboratory Chief in the NINCDS.
Dr. Albers was one of the first members of the American Society for Neurochemistry at its inception and served on its Council and on Committees on Publications and Education and on Electronic Publications. He has served as Professor of Biochemistry at George Washington University, faculty member of the NIH Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, and as Associate Editor of the Journal of Neurochemistry and of Experimental Neurology and on the editorial boards of Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Current Topics in Bioenergetics, Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Metabolic Brain Disease. Wayne Albers was considered a gentleman, an excellent scientific colleague with a keen intellect and friend by all who worked with him and he will be sorely missed, not only by his family, but also by the entire neurochemistry community.
Donations toward a memorial fund for an Albers memorial lecture or research prize may be sent in to American Society for Neurochemistry, 9037 Ron Den Lane, Windermere, FL 34786 Phone: 407-909-9064, Email:
- George J. Siegel
- October 1, 2013