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Department mourns passing of John M. Franz

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

We have received the sad news that John M. Franz, a 1955 PhD with Gene Lata, passed away on March 8, 2011 in Columbia, MO. He was 83.

Dr. Franz served in the US Army in Italy after World War II.  He graduated in 1950 from the University of Illinois, where his TA was Dr. Gene Lata. He then came to the University of Iowa with Dr. Lata to do his graduate work. Dr. Franz was Lata’s first PhD student.

Dr. Franz was a close friend of Dr. Arthur Fishkin, Dr. Lata’s second PhD student, who passed away last May. They last saw each other at Dr. Lata’s retirement party.

After completing his thesis on the effect of hormones on stress on certain coenzyme dependent reactions, Dr. Franz joined the Biochemistry Department faculty at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, where he conducted research on the hormonal control of metabolism. In addition, teaching was his passion. He remained on the faculty there his entire career, retiring in 1993.

Dr. Franz is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Janice Howard; one sister, Mary Lotts; children Kristine Dashiell, Jack Franz, Kathleen Quinn and Janice Rike; and six grandchildren. Dr. Franz’s obituary has been published in the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Daily Tribune.

The 7th Annual Gene F. Lata Biochemistry Undergraduate Honors Symposium will be held tomorrow, April 20, in memory of Dr. Lata and his first two PhD students, Drs. Arthur Fishkin and John Franz.