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James William Fristrom ’59

A picture of Jim and Dianne Fristrom

Jim Fristrom, an outdoor enthusiast, traveled to Alaska with his wife, Dianne.

James William Fristrom ’59, October 29, 2013, in Oakland, California. A native of Chicago, Jim was born to Carl Fristrom and Katherine Kermeen Fristrom and graduated from Francis Parker School. He earned a BA from Reed in biology, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and received a fellowship to the Rockefeller Institute, where he earned a PhD in life sciences. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biology at the California Institute of Technology and then joined the faculty of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley in 1965. For the next three decades, Jim made significant contributions to the field of fruit fly genetics and development. He ran a large laboratory at Berkeley: a total of 23 graduate students received their doctorates under his mentorship. Many postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars benefited from the energetic and supportive atmosphere of his lab. Jim was an enthusiastic outdoorsman with a great love of fly fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. He loved to garden and build garden structures such as gazebos, bridges, and decks. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Dianne, sons James and Edward, granddaughters Sofia and Zara, and brother Carl. Donations in his name, supporting undergraduate biological research, may be made to the Biology Fellows Program at UCB.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2014

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