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George Sachs
In Memoriam

George Sachs

Professor Emeritus of Medicine

UC Los Angeles
George Sachs, 84, passed away peacefully of natural causes at home on November 12, 2019. He was born in Vienna, Austria, and with his parents, he immigrated to Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1939. He attended George Watson's College and graduated in 1952 as Dux of his class. Dr. Sachs earned his BSc in biochemistry, MB, ChB and D.Sc. in medicine from the University of Edinburgh. He completed his postgraduate studies at Albert Einstein College. He was on the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Medicine from 1963 to 1982 as Professor of Medicine and Physiology and was recruited to UCLA in 1982 as Director of the Center for Ulcer Research and Education (CURE). There, he was also Professor of Medicine and Physiology, a Senior Medical Investigator of the Veterans Administration and Wilshire Chair in Medicine. Based on his extensive research in biochemistry, biology and gastroenterology, he discovered the mechanism of gastric acid secretion and developed drugs, namely omeprazole (Prilosec), now a mainstay of the treatment of peptic ulcer and reflux disease.

Dr. Sachs received many honors and awards, including the Beaumont Prize, the Hoffman LaRoche Award, the Middleton Award, the Janssen Award for Special Achievement in Gastroenterology and the Gairdner Foundation Award, considered one of the most prestigious awards in medicine. He was also a great mentor to many young scientists from around the world and the opportunity to perform research in his laboratory under his tutelage was considered a prize to be fought for and when obtained, relished.

Outside of his research, Dr. Sachs was an avid reader, particularly of the history of WWII, and a staunch devotee of the legendary Winston Churchill whom he considered the greatest statesman of all time. Dr Sachs' interests also included chess, cello, tennis and travel. In fact, he was the junior chess champion of Scotland. He was a caring and supportive friend, colleague, adoring husband, father and grandfather. He always had time to discuss any problem that arose and offered valuable advice. In addition, addressing current events with George was a time to be cherished. Participating in family events was one of his greatest joys, over which he often presided.

George Sachs led a full and productive life – rich with accomplishments, steeped in the love of his family and close friends. He touched many people and the world is a better place because he was in it. He will be missed. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joyce Hokin Sachs, his sons, Steven Bennett Sachs (Margot Francis), Andrew Adam Sachs (Elizabeth Evans Sachs) and his daughters, Paula Sachs Grayson (Paul Grayson) and Lara Day Sachs-Fishman (David Fishman), and his six grandchildren, Oscar Hokin Sachs, Lucas Hokin Francis Sachs, Nicholas Aarpad Grayson, Natalie Eve Grayson, Olivia Belle Fishman and Teala Fishman.

Dr. Alan Fogelman