Tahir Rizki, associate professor of biology at Reed from 1956 to 1961, died
in October at age 79. A specialist in biochemistry, bacterial genetics, and developmental genetics,
Rizki was a productive scholar and researcher. He received several research grants while at Reed
for his research on tumors and on the study of heredity and cell physiology of metamorphosis
in Drosophila. Rizki published at least 11 scientific articles during his years at Reed,
and he was active in many professional societies, lectured widely, and published prolifically
throughout his career.
Bob Erickson ’60 wrote that Rizki was “an inspiring teacher, especially
of genetics, and a number of his Reed students went into careers in genetics.”
Rizki was born in Hyderabad, India, on January 9, 1924. He received his B.Sc. from
Osmania University in India, his M.Sc. from Muslim University, India, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University
in zoology and genetics.
Before coming to Reed in 1956 Rizki taught as a lecturer in zoology at Muslim University,
India, then served as a research fellow at Dartmouth College and Yale University. In 1961 he left Reed
and do research in developmental genetics at the University of Michigan, where he remained until
He is survived by his wife, Rose, who was his constant co-worker in the laboratory;
three children; and several grandchildren.