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In Memoriam: James William (Bill) Osborne (1928-2015)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Administration
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James William "Bill" Osborne

James William (Bill) Osborne, age 87, passed away on Saturday December 5, 2015 at the Lantern Park Care Center in Coralville, Iowa.

Bill was born on January 17, 1928 in Pana, Illinois.  After receiving a PhD degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1955, he was appointed to a faculty position at the University Of Iowa College Of Medicine.  Rising through the ranks, he was promoted to full Professor in 1967 and became Director of the Radiation Research Laboratory and Radiation Biology Graduate Program in 1978. Bill retired from the University of Iowa in 2002. 

Bill was active in research throughout his career, particularly in studies involving the gastrointestinal tract where he made many seminal contributions. Bill was also very dedicated to the Radiation Research Society (RRS). He attended every single one of the RRS meetings, starting with the inaugural meeting in Iowa City in 1953, as well as every single International Conference of Radiation Research. He served on most committees of the RRS, but his 20-year tenure as Chair of the RRS History Committee stands out. Who does not remember Bill and his camera from many RRS meetings? And what other professional society has historical records of the quantity and quality of the RRS? He also served on the RRS Council (1997-2000) and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the RRS in 2001.

Bill was a great mentor, friend, and colleague who will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, two sons, and five grandchildren.

Written by: Douglas R. Spitz (Iowa City, IA) and Martin Hauer-Jensen (Little Rock, AR)


Dennis B. Leeper says...
Posted Wednesday, December 30, 2015
I obtained my PhD in Radiation Biology from the Radiation Research Laboratory in 1969. I took every course Bill taught. They were meticulous in detail and very informative. I still remember Bill having us irradiate a section of rat small intestine, excising the irradiated length, and performing an end-to-end anastomosis. The animal survived! Bill was a great resource when it came to radiation effects on the GI tract. I greatly admired Bill's commitment to radiation biology, to the RRS, and in particular his dedication to preserving a photographic history of the society. I looked forward to renewing my acquaintance with Bill and Marilyn every year at the annual meeting and in particular at the Iowa Dinner, which he organized for many, many years. I learned much from Bill and I will miss him as a friend and colleague. My condolences to Marilyn and the rest of Bill's family. Dennis Leeper

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