SDB President's Message on Passing of Igor Dawid


I am deeply saddened to share the news of Dr. Igor Dawid's passing. Known for his gentle demeanor and insightful contributions, Dr. Dawid was a pioneering scientist in developmental biology. His work primarily focused on the molecular mechanisms of development, using Xenopus laevis and Danio rerio as key model systems. His significant achievements include providing the early molecular evidence for mitochondrial DNA's existence and maternal inheritance in animals, the co-discovery of ribosomal gene amplification in frog oocytes, and groundbreaking studies on initiating molecular studies to reveal the mechanisms of axis specification during gastrulation.

Dr. Dawid's career began with postdoctoral work at MIT, followed by a fellowship at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore, MD. He later joined the Max-Planck-Institute for Biology in Tübingen, Germany, as a visiting investigator before returning to Baltimore. There, he spent 12 years at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology and served as a part-time assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University.

From 1982 until his retirement in December 2016, Dr. Dawid led the Section on Developmental Biology at NICHD, also serving as chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and head of the Program in Genomics of Differentiation. His contributions were recognized through his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1981, and he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology in 2008. Dr. Dawid also contributed significantly as editor-in-chief of the journal Developmental Biology and served on the editorial boards of several other journals.

Dr. Dawid's impact on the field and our community is immeasurable. To honor his memory and share your thoughts, please visit the memorial site to share your memories with his family and friends.

Ken Cho
SDB President (2024)

Last Updated 02/22/2024