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Michael Green, Ph.D.: 1947-2019

by Nancy Solomon on 01/24/2019

Michael Green, Ph.D., a retired professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Saint Louis University, died in San Francisco on Jan. 21. He was 71.

Dr. Green joined the faculty of SLU in 1975 as an assistant professor and retired as a professor in 2014.

Michael Green, Ph.D.
Michael Green, Ph.D.

Dr. Green discovered a class of proteins that reside in a certain portion of the cell used to transport proteins to other places in the cell. Later in his career, Dr. Green studied prions, which are misfolded proteins that are characteristic of several neurodegenerative fatal diseases.

Perhaps his most significant contribution, said William Wold, Ph.D., chair of molecular microbiology and immunology, was his role in educating future physicians and scientists. As an educator, he taught hundreds of medical and graduate students, helping them to move forward in their careers.

“He was an extremely good teacher – exceptional, in fact – to medical students and graduate students and was an excellent research mentor, sitting in on many thesis committees and was always available to mentor students both in and outside his lab,” Wold said.

“He was a very positive force in the department, a cheerful guy who had good stories to tell, good jokes.”

A native New Yorker, Dr. Green earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from City College of New York in 1968 and his doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin. He did his postdoctoral work at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. He was a member of the American Society of Cell Biology.

After his career at SLU, Dr. Green moved to California to be close to his children and grandchildren and volunteered at Cal Academy of Sciences and taught graduate biology classes at San Francisco State University.

Dr. Green could finish any New York Times crossword puzzle in under 20 minutes, was a huge baseball Cardinals fan, enjoyed fishing with his brothers, spending time with Golden Retrievers and laughing with his family.

Dr. Green is survived by his wife of 49 years, Annie; children, Joshua (Tiffany Benson) and Sarah (Jeff Ubersax); two grandchildren, Adele and Daphne; and his brother Martin (Sharon) Green.

His funeral was on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Fernwood Cemetery in Mill Valley, California.