I was very sad to hear the obituary news about my mentor, adviser, and friend, Professor Bill Firshein. I worked in Bill’s lab for two years and did my senior thesis with him, and I was one of the first students to graduate with Honors from the newly formed MB&B Department, which Bill founded in 1986. I had always planned on going to med school after Wesleyan, but because of my extraordinary experience I had with him and his lab, he convinced me to pursue a combined M.D.-Ph.D. program instead, and when I graduated from Wesleyan in 1987, Bill was proud that I was going to pursue a career as a medical scientist. I received my M.D. and Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1995 from the Boston University School of Medicine, and today I am president of the Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology. Could not have gotten to where I am today without the foundations that Bill taught me.

Ira Skolnik ’87
Concord, Mass.