My great Uncle Harry
Harry Rudney furthered medicine
Chaired biochemistry department at UC
HYDE PARK - The life of Harry Rudney is a Horatio Alger story.
From humble beginnings, Dr. Rudney's talent and inquisitiveness landed him a job and an education provided by an appreciative benefactor.
He later made an important contribution to humanity through his research on cholesterol, which laid the foundation for the later development of cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins.
Dr. Rudney, chairman emeritus of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, died May 30 at Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash. The Hyde Park resident was 89.
Born in Toronto on April 14, 1918, Dr. Rudney was a member of a struggling Jewish immigrant family, according to his son, Joel Rudney of St. Paul, Minn. With no money for college, Dr. Rudney was tracked into Central Technical High School even though he was interested in biology.
The school recognized his gift for science and hired him after graduation to set up chemistry experiments for students.
Although he couldn't afford college, he attended public lectures offered by the University of Toronto. Among the lectures he heard was one given by Dr. Bruno Mendel, a Jewish refugee who worked at the Banting Institute. Sir Frederick Banting, who had discovered insulin, conducted research there.
"My father was so excited by what he heard that he wrote to Dr. Mendel and suggested an experiment that he could do and Dr. Mendel was so impressed that he contacted my father and offered him a job in his lab," Joel Rudney said.
But Dr. Rudney felt he couldn't break the contract he had with the high school.
Mendel asked Banting to intervene. He arranged for Dr. Rudney to be released from the contract. Dr. Rudney went to work for Mendel, who paid his way through the University of Toronto.
"By the time my father had finished his undergrad degree, he had published seven papers," Joel Rudney said.
Dr. Rudney went on to receive a master's degree from the university in 1948 and a Ph.D. from Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1952. He joined the faculty at Western Reserve before being recruited by the University of Cincinnati to be the chairman of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology.
He was the Andrew Carnegie Professor of Biological Chemistry from 1967 until 1989. After his retirement, he returned to serve as interim chairman of the department of pharmacology for three years. He later served as chairman of the institutional review board. He retired for good at age 87.
Dr. Rudney was elected to the Fellows of the Graduate School at the University of Cincinnati in 1976 and received the George Rieveschl Jr. Award for distinguished research. He served as president of the Association of Medical School Chairmen of Biochemistry and was on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
While in college in Toronto, Dr. Rudney met his wife, Bernice. The meeting was arranged through friends. He came to her home and chatted with her in the breakfast room.
A week later he called to invite her to a movie. "We just hit it off," his wife said. He was a "sweetheart."
"My mother cautioned me that he was a poor boy. I said that didn't matter. I thought he had prospects." And she was right. "He went on to do really important things," she said. "It was a lovely marriage. We would have been married 61 years on June 25. And they were very good years."
In addition to his wife and son Joel, survivors include another son, Robert Rudney, of Mount Washington; and two sisters, Libby Grant and Pearl Shore, both of Toronto.
Services have been held. Burial was at United Jewish Cemetery in Montgomery.
Lots a big brains in the family, but i didn't know about his work before now, cool to read about.
It's been a long time since i last saw Harry, but i recall him being a very warm and good hearted man.
I did a quick google look on him after to see what came up and found this sweet photo of Harry & Bernice from 2005 by Jason D. Geil of The Cincinnati Post.
posted by max at 6/09/2007 02:16:00 a.m.