The Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics mourns the untimely passing of our friend and colleague Dr. Maria Diverse-Pierluissi.
It is with deep sadness that we pay tribute to the passing of our friend and colleague, Maria A. Diverse-Pierluissi on May 7, 2011 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Maria was a warm, loving and caring human being who always took a moment to enquire about those around her.
Maria earned her BS in Chemistry at Catholic University (Puerto Rico), her MS in Biochemistry at Purdue, and her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst under the supervision of Edward W. Westhead. She did her postdoctoral training under the tutelage of Dr. Kathleen Dunlap in the Department of Physiology at Tufts University. Maria joined the faculty of the Pharmacology Department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1998 and immediately became involved in teaching, and mentoring and guiding students. She was particularly interested in mentoring underrepresented minority students. Maria was a great teacher as is evidenced by teaching awards and recognition by the students. She was a gifted thinker who understood the many complexities of cell signaling pathways in neurons.
Maria earned many accolades in her scientific career starting with Excellence recognition as an undergraduate student, and MARC fellowships from the NIH three times (as an undergraduate, Masters, and Doctoral student). She earned various fellowships as a doctoral student and then again as a postdoctoral fellow when she earned the Samuel B. Levine Postdoctoral Fellowship, Massachusetts Chapter American Heart Association and a Medical Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2000, Maria received a Hirschl Trust Fund Career Award and in 2001 received the Faculty Council Award for Academic Excellence. These are in addition to her NIH R01 and New York Speaker’s Fund for Biomedical Research Award.
Maria A. Diverse-Pierluissi will be sorely missed by all whose lives she touched during her too short time with us.
by C. Gita Bosch