Biochemistry professor Richard Armstrong has died
A memorial service for Richard N. Armstrong, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and chemistry, will be held at 1 p.m. today (June 22) in the Vanderbilt Divinity School’s Benton Chapel.
Richard Armstrong (Vanderbilt)
Armstrong, 66, died suddenly on June 18 after a brief illness.
A member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 1995, Armstrong was internationally known for his contributions to understanding detoxification enzymes, proteins that break down foreign and potentially harmful chemicals, drugs and other molecules.
Among other potential applications, his work could lead to new ways to prevent bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Armstrong was an elected fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society. Other ACS honors included the Repligen Award for Chemistry of Biological Processes and, in 2014, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award.
In 2005, he received the Stanley Cohen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research from the faculty of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Since 2004, Armstrong served as editor in chief of Biochemistry, an honor held by only two other scientists since the journal began publishing in 1962. He also held a foreign adjunct professorship at the famed Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
Born in Boonville, Missouri, Armstrong received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Western Illinois University, and his doctoral degree in organic chemistry from Marquette University.
He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, a staff fellow at the Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry at the National Institutes of Health, and a member of the Chemistry faculty at the University of Maryland for 15 years before coming to Vanderbilt.
In addition to his contributions to research, Armstrong mentored many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
He is survived by his father and by his wife of 31 years, Mary Frances Clark; two children, Kathryn Grace Armstrong and Andrew Clinton Armstrong; and many other family members, colleagues and close friends.
Following the memorial service a reception will be held in the Tillet Lounge adjoining Benton Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to “Vanderbilt Biochemistry – Armstrong Fund” and mailed to Vanderbilt Gift & Donor Services, PMB 407727, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, Tennessee 37240.