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Obituaries

Memorial Service for Florence Mahoney

Daniel Mahoney (l) and Helen Pardoe join National Institute on Aging director Dr. Richard J. Hodes at the Apr. 23 memorial service for Mrs. Florence Stephenson Mahoney, who was Mahoney and Pardoe's grandmother. Mrs. Mahoney, who died last November at age 103, was instrumental in the founding of the NIA.

NIAMS Skin Biologist Steinert Mourned

Dr. Peter M. Steinert, chief of the Laboratory of Skin Biology at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, passed away unexpectedly Apr. 7. He was 57.


Dr. Peter M. Steinert

During his career, Steinert made major contributions to the understanding of structures and interactions of the proteins characteristic of epithelial cells, which cover the external and internal surfaces of the body, and make up skin and connective tissue. His experimental approach was multifaceted, covering biochemistry, molecular biology, structural biology and cell biology. Steinert wanted to determine how these proteins work together to create a stabilized cell and how different combinations of these proteins account for the respective properties of different kinds of epithelial cells. He was particularly interested in how mutations in some of these proteins give rise to skin diseases. At the time of his death, he was exploring the role of transglutaminase enzymes. When these enzymes don't work properly, the skin suffers from blistering or flaking diseases.


A native of Australia, Steinert came to the United States in 1972. He worked at Boston University Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the National Cancer Institute's Dermatology Branch in 1973. In 1990, he moved to NIAMS, where he became chief of the Laboratory of Skin Biology. He had more than 200 publications and several patents. He collaborated with scientists all over the world, and initiated the first Gordon Conference on Intermediate Filaments, which is still going strong today.

Many will remember Steinert as a dedicated mentor. He invited visiting fellows into his lab often. He coordinated joint projects for his fellows, allowing them to gain as much experience as possible. When the fellows returned home, he established collaborations with them and sometimes invited them back during the summer to work and share their research progress.

Colleagues say that Steinert made them part of his family. He was well known by his friends for planning ski trips and other outings, and welcoming colleagues into his home for holiday gatherings.

Steinert is survived by his companion, NCI's Dr. Mario Anzano, and two brothers.


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