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Eulogies 2 Scientists 2 (in progress)




(video on Memorial Service 2)


It seems impossible for mere words to describe everything that David Yue was, but since David would say that there is always a word with exactly the right meaning, I guess I have to try.  I have known David for 11 years and in that time he has been my friend, my mentor and my second father.  He was a brilliant scientist with an infectious excitement for the work he did.  Getting a new piece of data in lab was met with great enthusiasm – he would run over and gush about how amazing the result is, he would call the rest of the lab over to revel in the glory of the trace on the screen, smiles and joy abounded …and then he would add…now do it again. As David would say, he would just get phosphorylated.  I have never seen such passion for an equation.  It was this joy that David brought to science that drew me to his lab.  And it was David’s teaching, compassion and generosity that made him family.  

He was always a teacher and every moment was a potential teaching moment.  He made sure that you knew the exact right line width for every figure and if you didn’t understand a concept he would simply explain it in terms of Star Trek.  I remember hours spent with him making every figure for my talk perfect, and then, because I was afraid, he spent hours more just to build my confidence.  


But David taught me so much more than science – he taught me that humility is a virtue and integrity is paramount.  He taught me that you should never miss an opportunity to celebrate a victory and because David was such an innovative and creative scientist, the champagne flowed.  


For all these things David taught me I am forever grateful, but the greatest gift David gave to me was a second father.  When I got sick, David quite literally picked me up off the floor and brought me home to his family. As I watched David with his boys I saw the same teacher that I knew from lab, only now the analogies focused on the Raven’s.  I listened as David played Rachmaninoff on the piano and worked on homework with his boys.  The love that he and his family felt for each other was palpable.  David never did anything half way, when he found a shirt he liked, he wore it for years.  And when he took me into his home, he took me into his family.  David is a part of my heart and I will carry him with me forever.


Ivy Ellen Dick, PhD, graduated student of David's Calcium Signals Lab

Post Doctoral Fellow, Calcium Signals Lab



The pictures here represent a very small part of our long friendship,

starting in April 1982 in Bad Orb when David and Dan made a never forgotten

impression on all the established international scientists there.

In his acknowledgements of his dissertation in 1986 he wrote:


"… exemplified in my mind by the Force-Interval-Workshop in Bad Orb, Germany, have

had a crucial influence on my life and research.“

Words that deeply moved me then and now!


These wonderful photo-memories with David cover over thirty years during which we were fortunate enough and grateful at the same time to have him with us as a founding member of the International Institute for Theoretical Cardiology ( and leading the way from the insights into the Force-Interval-Relationship to his present groundbreaking work and research that he was devoted to in the Calcium Signals Laboratory at The Johns Hopkins University.


His all to soon passing has left an emptiness and a hole in my life as only the death of a most precious and revered person can leave.

I will not say more at the time but at a later date because thinking about this tragedy has left me not being able to. We will be with you and your sons in our thoughts and our hearts especially on Tuesday

and always.


With unspeakable sadness.

Jochen and Bri

Professor Jochen Schaefer, IITC



Here are some thoughts about David's legacy from my perspective.

An old book says, “Unless you change and become like little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  David was the most childlike professor I’ve ever met; his unabashed wonder and joy are the things I remember the most.  I knew David as a fellow scientist; I always tried to catch his talks at the annual Biophysical Society meetings because I knew I would be in for a treat of new ideas, clever experiments, but most of all, expressions of sheer wonder concerning the signaling molecules in cells.  If this was his effect on the practitioners of arcane science, I can only guess at the ways in which he enlivened his family and friends.
Invariably generous in mentoring his students and giving credit to others, David was one of those who set the tone for the field of ion-channel biophysics.  Some areas of science are like zero-sum games, characterized by intense competition and ambition; but our corner of the scientific world has resisted these pressures and has largely remained a community of friends.  David was one of those who led our community in this direction, by example.

Fred J. Sigworth
Professor, Yale University
Cell Molec Physiology and Dept Biomedical Engineering




David Yue in Denmark May 25-27, 2011 with Andrea Meredith, Bertil Hille, Mark Nelson and Danes


 I met David in Gil Wier’s lab around 1981. Soren Peter Olesen and I co-organized an “Ion Channel Meeting” in Copenhagen May 25-27th, 2011.


 I was responsible for the Americans:  David, Andrea Meredith, and Bertil Hille.  I took a few pictures over the days.  David and I also went for 2 runs along the coast.  It was a great time, and David gave a wonderful talk and had fun.



Mark Nelson

University Distinguished Professor and Chair
Department of Pharmacology, University of Vermont




It is hard for me to put into words the respect and admiration that I had for Dr. Yue.  I miss him very much.

There is one tangible lesson that I learned from Dr. Yue that I would like to contribute in his memory:

In a voltage ramp experiment to evaluate the I-V relationship, don't get confused by the capacitive current, I=C(dV/dt), in the first moments after starting the protocol.


Daniel Silverman, graduate student

Johns Hopkins Neuroscience



DTY will live on in our hearts and memories


Lisa P Jones, Associate Professor, Department of Radiology

graduated MD/PhD student, Johns Hopkins

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 



I learned this sad news from Dr. Xiaoqin Wang (forwarded email from Dr. Shadmehr) soon after Dec. 24 and have been in shock and sorrow ever since. It is a big loss, especially to the people who have been touched and influenced by him, including me. As David said, ‘Life is short. Make it count for eternity'. May he rest in peace.



Pray for him and his family.


Best wishes,


Xiaodong Liu, PhD

Present Principal Investigator, Medical School, Tsinghua University    


I am deeply saddened and sorry to hear of David's passing. David was a dear man, generous and gracious, brilliant and kind, and always humble. He will be deeply missed by the biophysics community. We've lost a gifted colleague and a warm friend.


Peter Ruben, PhD, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Science
Burnaby Mountain Professor, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology
Simon Fraser University



I have known David through work for over 20 years.  His work was brilliant and I will always have tremendous admiration for him.  The memory that will last forever is how David approached his life and work, with humility, with warmth, and always with great respect for others.   His memory is a blessing.



Jonathan Satin


Dept of Physiology, MS508

University of Kentucky College of Medicine



He was a great person , friend and brilliant scientist.


I first noticed David's work in 2003 and admired his approach to biophysics and how he combines mathematics and life science. In 2006 I met him in Salt lake City, it was my first international conference. He discussed with me after my talk and invited me to join him and his lab for Dinner. In the same year we invited David to Muenchen and continued our discussions. In 2008 I met him in Asilomar on a ca channel meeting and one year later he visited Muenchen again (where he gave a talk and joined us to the Oktoberfest). In 2013 a member from my lab learned a method which I always admired in his lab (FRET) and since then we were in regular contact. I learned a lot from David, a lot more than he would think of! He was a great person and I miss him sadly,
It is very hard for me with my limited english skills to find the right words.
I wish you all the best,


Christian Wahl, Professor, Department of Pharmacology
University of Munich, München, Germany



I am very saddened to hear about David’s passing. He had a brilliant mind and such a passion for science. We had some great conversations on the calcium channel intricacies during the breaks at the Biophysical Society Council meetings. He will be missed by the Biophysics community and his contributions will not be forgotten. My sincere condolences to his family.


Vasanthi Jayaraman

Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.



Though we are thousands of miles apart, Nancy, Michael, Daniel and John, I share in your grief and loss. However, we are united in the comfort that Dave is safe in the arms of Jesus and that one day 


we will meet him again.


From the time that I received the news, my mind goes back to 1999-2000 when I spent 6 months in Dave’s lab. We knew of each other through collaboration but had not met. However, he was extremely generous to take in someone coming from Singapore who wished to learn patch-clamp electrophysiology from scratch. He was very patient and was bubbling with new ideas all the time. I thoroughly enjoyed my time discussing science with him along the corridor, with a cup of coffee in hand. When we worked past midnight, he will always send me back to Broadview Apartments. Our friendship has lasted 15 years and I cherish every moment of it.

Dave was passionate and extremely dedicated to pursuing scientific truths by unlocking the mysteries of the natural world. He saw God’s hand and creative powers in the complexities of biological systems. I bid farewell to a very good friend, to an outstanding scholar and to a brilliant and exemplary scientist who is always ahead of his times.


My friend and my brother in Christ, I will surely miss you!


Tuck Wah Soong

Associate Professor, National University ofSingapore


Attached are two photographs taken when David was invited as the Distinguished speaker of the 3rd STEP-NUS Sunburst Brain Camp, held from 2-6 June 2014. His lecture to the high school students was delivered on 4th June 2014. There were more than 150 students invited from high schools of Singapore, 8 ASEAN countries, Japan, India, and South Korea.



Please accept my condolences from overseas. David was not just brilliant researcher, was best teacher, good friend and more than that.


I found discussion notes in my desk, written by David around 2003. These notes were critical and exciting notes of our work to publish on Science in 2004.



Masayuki X. Mori Ph.D.

Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry
Graduate School of Engineering
Kyoto University, Japan



I first met David when he was a doctoral student and I was a new post doc. I knew immediately that he was very smart but also found that he was imbued with a rare humility and kindness. His humility probably led to his not receiving the accolades that a great biophysicist should receive but I think he was content teasing out difficult problems with his pin sharp insight. My thoughts go out to his family whom I never met and I regret that I never had the opportunity to work closely with him. His passing is a great loss to science and I, and many others, will miss seeing him at Biophysics and listening to his clever insights into the workings of calcium channels. 

Mark  B. Cannell Ph.D. FRSNZ

Professor of Cardiac Cell Biology
School of Physiology &  Pharmacology
Medical Sciences Building, University of Bristol



David on many occasions mentioned that he remembers every figure from every paper of his. And that was very true. He could remember what the figure looked like almost to the lines and dots in it. There were many times that I would ask him about a result from the 90s and he would tell me it was Figure x of Paper y and sometimes even the page number. A few weeks ago, he told me how he didn't do well in medical school because he couldn't memorize well. I found that so strange b/c how can someone who could remember every figure in his papers or even prominent papers in field not remember the med school stuff. I guess it was his passion for science and really ca channels that gave him the super-memory. I always thought that was such an awesome thing about him. I am going to miss that a lot.


Manu Ben Johny, PhD

graduated student, David's Calcium Signals Lab, Johns Hopkins



I have no words to help heal but selfishly feel the need to share my story.  In 1999, I joined Paul Fuchs's lab as a postdoc and was given a project on the structure-function of single channels in inner ear sensory cells.  I had absolutely no electrophysiology experience so I sought out Dr. Yue.  His course was one of the most engaging and enriching experiences I ever had in a classroom.  I will never forgot the introduction slide printed with "Ion channels are the syllables of God."  His excitement over these ion channel machines was infectious.


Even was far more profound to cross paths with Dr. Yue at Grace Fellowship.  I was out back on the small playground with my toddler when he came outside with one or two of his own children.  Our first conversation was just a moment but the weaving of science and his faith became a powerful story in my life.  I will miss him.


My family will pause to reflect on him, to thank God for the chance to know him, and to pray for his family as they pine for the day to see him again.


Keith Duncan

Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Univerity of Michigan



David was an exceptional human being, friend, and scientist.    It was clear every time I met him how much his family meant to him, and he treated everyone around him with warmth and joy. I will miss him very much.


Mike Caterina, MD-PhD

Professor of neurosurgery, Biological Chemistry and Neuroscience

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine



As a summer student, Professor Yue has given me lots of care and help. His passion and love for the world will continue inspiring me in all my life. He will be missed forever. I am grateful for everything he has done for me, from the bottom of my heart. 

Best regards,


Guanghan Meng (孟广涵), 

Department of Biomedical Engineering, 

Shanghai Jiao Tong University



 It is still very hard to think that Dr. Yue is gone to be with the Lord. Dr. Yue was a great scientist, and I know that I will always appreciate the training that I received. I also appreciated that he was incredibly excited about science and opened his lab to so many graduate students, more so than the average university lab. I think that is evidence of his interest in training and mentoring students.

Please know that my prayers and thoughts are with you. 

Sarah Park, PhD, graduated student, David's Calcium Signals Lab

Johns Hopkins university



I met David for the first time in 2007 at the Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia when we were attending a meeting. At the time I had just accepted an offer from JHU. He immediately made a strong impact on me by asking insightful questions of speakers. I still remember well how excited I was to come to JHU and interact with fine researchers like David. Since then, David and I interacted closely and intermittently on different occasions. These include thesis committee meetings of his and my students, departmental seminar series, graduate teaching classes, a birthday party for Denise Montell (I believe I met Nancy at that time) and discussions on collaborator projects. Speaking of our collaboration, we published a paper in “Cell” last year. I enjoyed seeing how he trained his students, how he developed research programs and how he gave scientific seminars. As a junior faculty member, having a role model like David was a tremendous help to develop my career. I learned how important it is to give credit to surrounding researchers and environment, how important it is to push students’ limits with “patience” (very difficult…). In recent years, he had written me recommendation letters for young investigator awards.


On the day before he passed away, he stopped by my office with his students. We discussed some unutilized equipment in my lab to be inherited by his lab. We also talked about another letter that he would be writing that week. We chatted a bit as usual. We were supposed to see each other in Taiwan this coming summer, where I am organizing an international meeting and invited David to present. He was very much looking forward to that occasion, saying that he has been to Taiwan only once or so.


I just talked to Elliot McVeigh, the BME department chair, who encouraged me to inherit one of David’s major projects, the one related to the paper we published together. As I really wanted to do something for him and his students, it is my great honor to commit to this with my every effort.


All the lessons I learned from him are now seamlessly integrated in myself, for which I am very much appreciative to David.


Sincerely yours,

Takanari Inoue, PhD

Associate Professor of Cell Biology, Cell Dynamics,

Pharmacology, Biological Science and Biomedical Engineering

Johns Hopkins University


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