Joseph A. Erwin, biology professor emeritus who taught at IIT from 1967-2001, passed away on May 1, 2014. He was the father of Kim Erwin, assistant professor, IIT Institute of Design. Joseph Erwin contributed to the understanding of the biochemistry of lipids crucial to the treatment of heart disease and pain management. His work with Nobel Prize winner Konrad Bloch was published in journals such as Science and The Journal of Biological Chemistry, and included articles such as “Biosynthesis of Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Microorganisms.” He both edited and contributed a chapter to the book Lipids and Biomembranes of Eukaryotic Microorganisms.
Erwin was born in Brooklyn, NY, and received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, where he worked with Bloch, who received the Nobel Prize in 1964 with Feodor Lynen for discoveries about the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. To learn more, or to make a donation in Erwin’s name to Lurie Children’s Hospital, please see his obituary.