October 24, 2022

Bernard Agranoff, M.D., 1926–2022

With deep regret we share news of the passing of Bernard Agranoff, M.D., who was a distinguished member of our department and of the Department of Psychiatry and the Mental Health Research Institute (now Michigan Neuroscience Institute).

Dr. Agranoff received his B.S. degree from the University of Michigan in 1946 and his M.D. degree from Wayne State University in 1950. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as a research scientist in 1960, was appointed associate professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry in 1961, and was promoted to professor in 1965 and senior research scientist in 1997. In 1983 he was named professor of biological chemistry in the Department of Psychiatry. From 1991–2001 he held the title of Ralph Waldo Gerard Professor of Neurosciences. Dr. Agranoff was director of the Mental Health Research Institute from 1985–1995 and director of the Neuroscience Laboratory from 1983–2002. He retired from active faculty status in 2003.

Early in his career, Dr. Agranoff demonstrated a requirement for protein synthesis in the goldfish brain for the formation of long-term memory, a major advance in neuroscience. His research extended to optic nerve regeneration and led to identification of molecular markers of neuroplasticity. He was one of the founding editors of the classic textbook Basic Neurochemistry, and his many former students and fellows are now investigators throughout the world.

Dr. Agranoff was the recipient of several of the University's most prestigious honors, including the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award (1984), the Distinguished Faculty Lectureship in Biomedical Research (1986), and the Henry Russel Lectureship (1988). He was a member of the National Academy of Medicine, served as Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence at the National Institutes of Health, and was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A gathering and celebration of Bernie’s life will take place at Nie Family Funeral Home, 3767 W. Liberty Rd., Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Thursday, October 27, from 3–7 PM. Bernie’s sons, Will and Adam, will share some remarks at 5 PM.

Obituary for Bernard Agranoff, M.D.