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In-Memoriam: Webster S.S. Jee, Ph.D.

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Webster S.S. Jee, one of the giants in our field on April 3, 2018.

 

Dr. Jee was born in Oakland, California, where he grew up. He served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II and then earned his B.A. and M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Web joined the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1951, where he began his bone research career as an Anatomist/Radiobiologist, eventually receiving his Ph.D. in 1959. Web was Director of the Radiobiology Bone Group/Laboratory and Professor of Anatomy at Utah for nearly fifty years. He not only conceived of, organized, and directed the Sun Valley Hard Tissue Workshop from 1970-2004, but also was instrumental in helping bone scientists in the People’s Republic of China organize their early bone research-related meetings.

 

As the 2003 recipient of the ASBMR Gideon A. Rodan Excellence in Mentorship Esteemed Award, Dr. Jee was a pioneer in the field of pre-clinical bone biology and pharmacology. Web not only did numerous experiments that revealed fundamental principles about bone behavior in the adult skeleton, but also trained over 200 scientists from across the world in his newly developed techniques. His research topics included the earliest morphologic demonstration of dynamic bone remodeling in the adult skeleton; early investigation of the hematogenous origin of osteoclasts; and development/pre-clinical testing of the idea of rescuing low bone mass with an anabolic agent then preserving the new bone with an anti-resorptive agent, a concept that is now used clinically. Many of Dr. Jee’s trainees went on to do pre-clinical and clinical research that contributed to the development of today’s bone therapeutic agents. Web wrote over 800 papers, scientific articles, book chapters, abstracts, reviews, and editorials. The impact of his body of work on our current understanding of bone biology and development of bone therapeutic agents is immense.

 

In addition to his contributions to the bone field, Dr. Jee will be remembered as an innovator, mentor, and man of great grace, humility, and good humor, who was forever devoted to creating opportunities for young scientists. Please join your colleagues in sharing your fond memories of Web. ASBMR will share these messages with his family. Post your memory or condolences below.

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Guest Thomas Wronski

I am so grateful to Dr. Webster Jee, my Ph.D. mentor, for introducing me to the fascinating field of bone biology and osteoporosis research. He was an outstanding role model and mentor who continued to be a positive influence on my career long after I left his lab. Dr. Jee will be sorely missed as a mentor, friend, and prominent bone researcher. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his son, Ken, his daughter-in-law, Norienne, and other family members.

 

Tom Wronski

Professor Emeritus

Univ. of Florida

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