Cell Stress Society International

Remembering Susan Lindquist

Remembering Susan Lindquist

Susan Lindquist passed away on October 27, 2016, two days before the opening of the CSSI Old Town Symposium. Susan’s physical presence ended then at age 67, but her spirit and ideas will be with generations of scientists in our field and others into the foreseeable future.

Takashi Yura, Larry Hightower, and Susan Lindquist

Principal organizer Stuart Calderwood gave a moving tribute to Susan at the beginning of our banquet and then we raised a champagne toast of Susan’s life and immense scientific contributions. Susan was a frequent contributor to this series which began in 1997 at the MBL in Woods Hole, MA, before moving to the Hilton Old Town, Alexandria, VA. Susan liked the emphasis of these meetings linking stress response proteins to cancer and diseases of aging, to name but two. This year’s symposium had numerous talks on Hsp90, a protein that Susan and her colleagues studied for many years and helped us to understand. In our hearts, it was dedicated to Susan’s memory and we thought of her often and fondly.

Susan was a founding member of the Cell Stress Society International (est. 1999).  Later, she became a Lifetime Member.  She was the second recipient of the CSSI Medallion after Takashi Yura, given at his retirement symposium at the Banbury Center, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. This is the CSSI’s highest award for research excellence and career achievement.  Takashi attended the ceremony and is pictured above with Larry Hightower and Susan after the award presentation and Susan’s keynote address at the opening of the First International Congress of the CSSI in Québec, 2003.           

Susan was also a founding member of the Editorial Board of Cell Stress & Chaperones journal and remained so until her passing. Her shared wisdom and experience at the first few meetings of the Editorial Board at Cold Springer Harbor Laboratory helped launch our journal in a positive direction.

A little-known fact is how critical one of her actions was to the survival of our journal. In 1999, we were given six months notice by our publisher Churchill-Livingstone, which had been purchased by Academic Press, that Cell Stress & Chaperones would be cancelled at the end of the year and after four volumes. Susan wrote a strong letter of support for the journal and advised our publisher that it was in their best interest not to cancel the journal but instead to transfer ownership to the newly established Cell Stress Society International. After several tense months of negotiation, the CSSI became the owner and publisher of Cell Stress & Chaperones. In the photo below, Susan is shown visiting the CSAC journal table at the Québec congress. Also shown are the representative from Allen Press, our new publishing partner then, and graduate student Emily Noonan Place, signing up to join the CSSI and receive the journal. Twenty-one volumes of our journal have now been published. CSAC is still owned by the Cell Stress Society International and our co-publisher since 2008 is Springer Nature. Thanks Susan for everything. We will not forget you.

Lindquist with Allen Press Representative and new member, Emily Noonan Place