Remembering Don Gerecke (1950 -2023)

Donald Gerecke

We commemorate the life of our dear friend and colleague Donald Gerecke who passed away this past Sunday, April 30, 2023.
Dr. Gerecke (Don) was an Associate Professor in the Pharmacology & Toxicology Department at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, where he taught students in the PharmD, Graduate Toxicology,  and undergraduate Arts and Sciences programs. His research program was continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense since 2001. He was the author of over 100 papers with more than 2,000 citations.  Don received his BS in Animal Science (1972) and MS in Entomology and Economic Zoology (1976) from Rutgers University. Upon graduation, he worked for ten years as a research pesticide chemist, first at UniRoyal and then at Rhone-Poulenc. He then entered the Anatomy and Cellular Biology graduate program at Harvard University where he obtained his PhD in 1992. He spent the next five years as a research fellow and instructor at Harvard Medical School Department of Dermatology.
Don returned to Rutgers in 1997 to join the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the School of Pharmacy and establish himself as a resident member of EOHSI.  In his time at Rutgers, he trained 3 M.S. and Ph.D. students, mentored numerous Pharmacy students, and supervised the PharmD Honors program from 2015 to 2021.  Don was a valued collaborator working with many members of the EOHSI research community on a wide range of environmental toxicology projects.  However, his real passion was teaching and interacting with students in the classroom, at the research bench and through student related activities that he attended including Pharmacy Scholarship dinners, Mr PharmD night and others.  Don also served as co-advisor to the AZO fraternity for several years. In turn, Pharmacy students honored Don with Teacher of the Year awards in 2008 and 2009, and later by organizing the EMSOP team and participating annually in the NYC Parkinson’s Unity Walkathon.  Donald Gerecke will be sorely missed by faculty, students and staff at EOHSI and the School of Pharmacy.
Our thoughts are with his wife Dr. Marion Gordon, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the School of Pharmacy and his daughter, Rebecca Gerecke.