In Remembrance: Joshua B. Atkins ’97, ’01MPhil Died on July 17 2017

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Our beloved son, Joshua Benjamin Atkins, passed away from complications of mitochondrial disease at Yale New Haven Hospital on July 17, 2017. Joshua graduated from Yale College (Davenport), Class of 1997, earning a BS degree with honors in biology; and pursued a doctoral degree in neuroscience at Yale, working in the laboratory of Weimin Zhong and earning an MPhil in 2001. His dissertation research examined protein development in drosophila.

Joshua was a lifelong lover of science, reveling in nature and pondering the “hows” and “whys” of the world. He was patient and persistent, working hard and always asking the next question. He worked in a variety of laboratory settings from high school through graduate school, while mitochondrial disease, with which he was finally diagnosed as a young man, progressively attacked his energy level and neuromuscular system. We are grateful to Dr. Zhong for supporting him, and to Josh’s fellow students for helping him with the mechanics of the bench work as his eyesight and dexterity became less reliable. Joshua loved learning with and being part of that group.

One of Josh’s goals was to research mitochondria to help his brother, Michael, whose condition was deteriorating more rapidly than his own. Unfortunately, Josh was unable to complete his degree or take that next step, but we are thankful that he was able to participate in publications and to contribute to science with the limited time he had.

If you would like to support research into this disease, and support afflicted patients and families, memorial contributions may be sent to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, 8085 Saltsburg Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15239.

—Submitted by the family.

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