Laura and Gabriella
I just learned today of your dad's passing, I am truly sorry to hear this news. Your dad was a giant in the field, a member of my PhD committee and the reason I am where I am today. If I may take a few moments to tell you a story on how your dad helped me change the world. Back when I was a graduate student I came across a rather major finding, Dr. Michalopoulos was my mentor and I was trying to convince him of these findings, but he was quite convinced my data was wrong and that if I continued to pursued this line of research I would become a joke to the field, but your dad was there me telling me I was right and no matter what I couldn't let anything get in the way and I needed to get this data published. Long story short, I continue to pursue the work, got it published in the journal Science and in 1999 my paper was chosen as the journal's "Break-through Paper of the Year". Without your dad supporting me and pushing me I would have folded like a cheap lawn chair. Because of his help, my research changed a dogma and opened up the field of stem cell research as we know it today. The last time I check the paper has been cited over 3500 times, because of him. The fact that bone marrow derived stem cells can cross lineages new fields of research have been opened and new patient treatments have been developed. I am truly sad to hear of his passing, I so wanted to see him one more time, haven't been back to the burgh in several years. However, I did talk to him on several occasions the last being a couple of years ago and could tell he was having a hard time remembering things. Please know this, I will always be grateful for his support and his wisdom of seeing the importance of my research when I was beginning to question it. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. It was truly an honor to have called him my friend, a mentor and colleague, I will miss him!
Bryon E Petersen, Ph.D., FAASLD
Professor and Director
Stem Cell Research and Hepatic Disorders
Child Health Research Institute
University of Florida