NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Former SRO Ehrenspeck Is Mourned

Dr. Ehrenspeck
Dr. Gerhard Ehrenspeck

Dr. Gerhard Ehrenspeck, 81, retired scientific review officer, Center for Scientific Review (CSR), passed away on Jan. 3 from complications of cancer treatment. He managed CSR’s cellular biology and physiology study section before retiring in 2006.

Born in Munich, Germany, Ehrenspeck and his family migrated to the U.S. when he was 12. He earned a Ph.D. in biophysics at Penn State University (1969). After pursuing postdoctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in West Berlin (1971), and later the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt, he returned to the U.S. in 1974 to take a fellowship at the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City. Before coming to NIH in 1988, he had a research and teaching appointment at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.

Besides his professional activities, Ehrenspeck had a variety of hobbies. A superb photographer, he took spectacular pictures of natural life subjects—birds, spiders and bees—in their native milieu. He was also an avid collector of toy trains and had set up in his basement a miniature railroad exhibition, complete with tracks, signals and stations. Occasionally, he entertained his friends, giving them a tour of his basement wonderland. 

A fluent speaker of German, Ehrenspeck maintained contact with his extended family in Bavaria, and frequently went to visit them. He was also an enthusiastic traveler and had visited countries in South America, Europe and the Middle East, bringing back fascinating pictures and exotic stories about their history and culture. Only the Covid-19 pandemic stymied his travels—something his physical infirmities could not do.

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Assistant Editor: Eric Bock (link sends e-mail)

Staff Writer: Amber Snyder (link sends e-mail)