Passing of Erik Jakobsson

Erik Jakobsson

Eric Jakobsson was a beloved member of the Neuroscience Program faculty.  He was Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Biophysics and Computational Biology, Bioengineering, Neuroscience and affiliated with the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology, the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB).  Even long after he retired, he continued to participate in activities, attend seminars, and stay up-to-date on research interests.  In May of this year, as part of our annual review process, he made sure to update the Neuroscience Program of one of his publications:

Núñez-Corrales, Santiago, and Eric Jakobsson. "The Epidemiology Workbench: a Tool for Communities to Strategize in Response to COVID-19 and other Infectious Diseases." medRxiv (2020).  Deposited Fall 2020

Dr. Jakobsson passed away on Thursday, October 28, 2021.  His knowledge, spirit and kindness will be missed.


From the News-Gazette, "A Life Remembered | UI prof, Urbana alderman a 'real Renaissance man' who really cared about the community," by Mary Schenk

With advanced degrees in engineering and physics, Mr. Jakobsson moved with his wife moved from Ohio to Urbana in 1971 where he began his 50-year association with the UI.

His list of educational and career accomplishments is long and rich — professor of biochemistry, molecular and integrative physiology, biophysics and computational biology, bioengineering, neuroscience — and praise from his colleagues effusive.

Although he had “emeritus” in front of his many professor titles, Mr. Jakobsson continued to work as he dealt with his health challenges. As recently as the spring semester, he was teaching a course on the history of the universe to honors students at the UI, remotely due to COVID-19.

“He formally retired, but you would not be able to tell the difference in what he did before and after,” Robinson said.

“His main area of research was in studying microscopic cells, especially nerve cells called ion channels that allow chemicals to go in and out of nerve cells,” said Robinson, who explained that understanding ion channels is fundamental to understanding the nervous system and how the brain works."

Read the full article here


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