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Gary Pittenger, scientist and teacher, dies

Story Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 09:56:00 EDT

Dr. Pittenger had been Director of the Protein Chemistry Laboratory in the Strelitz Diabetes Center and had taught anatomy during his entire 22-year-career with the medical school. He was a Professor of Internal Medicine and a Professor of Pathology and Anatomy.

Dr. Pittenger was an integral part of the team that cloned and sequenced the INGAP gene and its product INGAP peptide, which helps induce the formation of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. He also was at the forefront of developing techniques for regenerating nerves damaged by disease, such as diabetes. His research has impacted the care of patients worldwide.

In addition to his research prowess, Dr. Pittenger was a superb teacher who was popular with students. He served as mentor to countless students.

"He meant a great deal to many of us due to his wonderful teaching, his research findings with Dr. Vinik and his warm personality," said Jerry L. Nadler, MD, Chair of Internal Medicine, and Nancy F. Fishback, MD, Chair of Pathology and Anatomy, in a joint statement. "We will all miss him very much, but his legacy at EVMS will remain."

As a final demonstration of his commitment to medical education, Gary donated his body to science.