Dolan B. Pritchett, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Pediatrics of Gibbsboro, New Jersey died December 11, 1994 at the age of 37.
Dr. Pritchett was a 1976 graduate of Borah High School in Boise, Idaho and received his B.A. in Chemistry from BYU in 1982 as a Dean's Scholar. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 1987. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Heidelberg in 1989 and came to Philadelphia the same year. He held joint appointments in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania and in the Division of Child Development in the Department of Pediatrics at the Children's Seashore House/Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship for the Department of Pediatrics in 1990.Dr. Pritchett was an internationally recognized authority in the fields of neuroscience and molecular biology, with particular expertise in the ways in which nerve cells communicate with each other. His work has major implications for the development of new therapeutic strategies for the neurological illnesses such as epilepsy and stroke.
He published more than 35 scientific articles in a variety of journals including seven in the prestigious journals: Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
In his brief career, Dr. Pritchett made seminal contributions to our understanding of receptors, particularly those which function as ligand-gated ion channels. As a post-doctoral fellow, he was the first person to clone the serotonin-2 receptor. Dr. Pritchett was also the first person to isolate a clone for the subunit of the GABA receptor which confers sensitivity to benzodiazepine drugs to this receptor. He used molecular biological approaches to identify the specific amino acids in this receptor which comprise the benzodiazepine recognition site.
While at PENN, he studied the subunit composition of the NMDA glutamate receptor, helping to characterize the different structural and functional subtypes of this receptor. In addition, he developed a method for imaging and quantifying calcium in living cells, and adapted this method for use in the transgenic animals, providing an exciting new methodology for the in vivo imaging of calcium.
His contributions do not end with these achievements. Dolan was beloved and respected for his mentorship and teaching of students and colleagues alike. His unique style of approaching life and science with humor, enthusiasm, and integrity were an inspiration to all who knew him. He will be deeply missed.
Dolan was an active member of the LDS Church, Cherry Hill New Jersey Ward and had served a mission to Hawaii from 1977 to 1979.
Dr. Pritchett is survived by his wife, Sharon (nee Newton), and three sons, Hunter, Trevor, and Seth; his parents, Jed and Jackie Pritchett, Boise, Idaho; his brothers, M.J. of Oakland, Calif, Lant of Vienna, Virginia, and Troy of Salt Lake; his sister, Tara Sheehan of Boise, Idaho; and his grandparents, Melrose and Lois Pritchett of American Fork, and Grace Hayward of Spanish Fork.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at 12 noon in the Anderson & Sons Mortuary, 49 East 100 North, American Fork, where friends may call one hour prior to services. Interment will follow in the American Fork Cemetery.
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