Henry I. "Hank" Yamamura, an eminent neuropharmacologist, died September 4, 2008, after a long struggle with cancer. Even while ill, he continued his research and scholarly activities.
Dr. Yamamura pioneered radioligand binding assays, contributing valuable knowledge about neurotransmitter transporters and muscarinic, opioid, and other G-protein-coupled receptors. He published more than 600 articles and edited 10 books. He received numerous awards including the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Award for Experimental Therapeutics in 1995.
Born in Seattle in 1940, Dr. Yamamura obtained a B.S. in pharmacy and a Ph.D. in pharmacology at the University of Washington. He was a captain in the Army Medical Service Corps (1970-1973) and then a postdoctoral fellow with Sol Snyder at Johns Hopkins University. He joined the Pharmacology Department at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1975 and spent the rest of his career there. He held joint appointments in the departments of psychiatry and biochemistry and in 1997 was named Regents Professor in the College of Medicine. He trained and mentored more than 100 students, fellows, and visiting faculty.