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In Memoriam

In Memory of Marianne Wessling-Resnick

Marianne Wessling-Resnick passed away on November 13th, 2019 after a long and private struggle with breast cancer. She was 61 years old. Marianne was a Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Department of Genetics & Complex Diseases at the Harvard School of Health in Boston, Massachusetts. A native of the Boston area, Marianne obtained her BS degree in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from UMass Medical School. In 1990, she started as Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she moved through the ranks to Professor in 2000.

In addition to her research and teaching, Marianne served as a standing member and chair of three consecutive NIH study sections (1998–2012), chair of East Coast Iron Club (1994–1996), co-chair of the FASEB Conference on Micronutrients: Trace Elements (2001), and director of the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (2010–2014). Marianne’s research over the years covered wide territory including biochemical, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of iron transport and homeostasis, manganese transport and neurotoxicity, and endocytic vesicle trafficking.

In recent years, she was known throughout the nutritional biochemistry community for her many contributions to our understanding of how iron status and genetic factors regulate iron and manganese uptake via intestinal, pulmonary, and olfactory pathways. Having trained over 30 post-doctoral fellows in her laboratory at Harvard, she was highly regarded as a dedicated and supportive mentor of the next generation of biomedical scientists. As such, she was frequently sought—by junior faculty at Harvard and beyond—for her solid advice on career and life.

She seemed to know something about everything, was generous with her time and advice, and despite a strong exterior, she was known by many as a remarkably caring and compassionate individual. She will be dearly missed by her colleagues and friends at Harvard, the BioIron Society, and the trace element community. Marianne is survived by her husband Paul Resnick and her son Timothy.

Mitch Knutson (University of Florida)
Khristy Thompson (Harvard School of Public Health)
Jonghan Kim (Northeastern University)
Young-Ah Seo (University of Michigan)

posted: November 15, 2019