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Robert George

Professor of Pharmacology, Emeritus

UC Los Angeles

1923 – 2006


Robert George, Ph.D., professor emeritus in pharmacology, passed away on April 13, 2006, at age 83, in Los Angeles, after a long battle with Huntington’s Disease. He is survived by his wife Helga, of Malibu, and two children, Philip and Kathie.  


Bob George was a faculty member at UCLA from 1958 until his retirement in 1991, in the Department of Pharmacology (now Molecular and Medical Pharmacology). He served as graduate advisor and vice-chairman of the department from 1970 to 1977. Bob was the mentor for a dozen PhDs and served on ‘every graduate student’s thesis committee, not just in pharmacology but seemingly in the whole medical school’ during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. He was also counselor and friend to the graduate student. In addition to his top quality Neuropharmacology research, he was very highly regarded by his graduate students and postdoctoral research fellows for warm and very helpful mentoring and friendship. As one of the major members of the ‘Neuroscience’ community at UCLA in the 60s and 70s, Bob helped found and establish the reputation of the world-famous Brain Research Institute.


A native Californian, Bob George graduated from the University of Oregon, where he played halfback on the football team. Then, he obtained the Ph.D. in physiology from the University of California (Berkeley). He did postdoctoral work with E. Leong Way at UCSF in pharmacology, and then held an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at the Department of Neuroendocrinology, Institute of Psychiatry, London, England, with Geoffrey Harris. He joined the faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1958 and became Full Professor in 1967. Bob gained emeritus status in 1991.


Bob George worked on the pharmacology of brain drugs. His main interest was in analgesics such as opiates, especially their interaction with thyroid, pituitary, hypothalamic, and adrenal hormones. He collaborated closely with colleagues Peter Lomax and Norio Kokka on these topics, with Donald Catlin on narcotic addiction and neuroendocrine function, and with Don Jenden on tremorigenic acetylcholine drugs. Professor George published about 100 refereed research papers and book chapters, and was highly regarded in the field of Neuropharmacology, an integral contributor to UCLA’s illustrious reputation in this area in the early decades of the UCLA School of Medicine. He served several years as an Associate Editor of the Annual Reviews of Pharmacology and Toxicology.


Personally, Bob was a wonderfully warm and caring human being and friend, as well as good faculty citizen.


Richard Olsen