March 24, 1927–November 4, 1991
BY IRA PASTAN
GERALD D. AURBACH REVOLUTIONIZED OUR understanding of bone metabolism and calcium homeostasis.
Gerald D. Aurbach was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 24, 1927, but grew up in Washington, D.C. After spending one year in the U.S. Army-Air Force at the end of World War II, he entered the University of Virginia, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1950 and his M.D. in 1954. These years at the University of Virginia were some of the happiest days of Gerry’s life and he remained devoted to the University of Virginia for the remainder of his life. He received the singular honor of being named the Centennial Alumnus of the university in 1988. Ironically it was during a visit to the university on November 4, 1991, that he was fatally injured in a senseless act of violence.
Gerry began his studies on parathyroid hormone early in his career while a medical student at the University of Virginia in the laboratory of Dr. William Parson. Dr. Parson was chief of medicine and a professor of medicine at the University of Virginia. A renowned endocrinologist, Parson had worked with Dr. Fuller Albright, a leader in the field of endocrinology and metabolism, while training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. After graduation from medical school, Gerry took an internship at the New England Medical