It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr. Eva J. Neer, MD from cancer this past Saturday. She is survived by her husband and children who were with her during the last few weeks.
Dr. Neer was a Harvard University cell biologist who studied how signals pass from the outside to the inside of cells. She was a world leader in studies of G-proteins, an important class of signaling proteins. Dr. Neer was elected to National Academies of Sciences in 1998.
Her collaborative discovery, showing that one type of G protein subunit regulates an important ion channel, has revolutionized concepts of how these critical proteins function. These important studies focused on the G-beta-gamma subunit and in collaboration with Dr. David Clapham's laboratory showed that it regulated a number of effectors, and thus was a major partner with the more studied G-alpha subunit.
Recently she had extended her interest to the larger structural family of which the G-beta subunit was a member, the WD-repeat containing beta propellers. It was in this area that the members of the Boston University's BMERC laboratory had the honor and joy of working closely with Eva, her students and postdoctoral follows. Dr. Neer was an ideal collaborator, she not only showed great patience with those not familiar with the difficulties of experimental molecular biology but clearly understood the potential utility of theory and comparative sequence analyses. Her insights and infectious smile will be greatly missed.-Temple F. Smith
© Sean Quinlan, Trustees of Boston University 2000