In Memoriam

In memoriam: Raul Ondarza–Vidaurreta

ASBMB Today Staff
July 18, 2022

Raul Ondarza–Vidaurreta, the first biochemistry instructor on the medical faculty at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology since 1974, died Feb. 7. He was 93.

Raul Ondarza–Vidaurreta

Born Oct. 29, 1928, in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Ondarza–Vidaurreta earned his doctorate at the UNAM and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Glasgow and New York University. In 1958, he joined the UNAM faculty, and he was appointed chair of molecular biology in 1963.  He founded and taught an optional class in epigenetics.

Ondarza–Vidaurreta also served as a medical sciences researcher at Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, where he focused on drug targets for infectious diseases and human parasites, including cancer cells infected with the Papilloma virus. At various times, he was a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a visiting researcher in the chemistry department at the University of California, San Diego, and a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

He was an advisor to and general coordinator of science committees of Mexico’s Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología from 1971 to 1982, during which time he worked to create five new research centers dedicated to ecology, biomedical research, biotechnology, chemistry, and marine biology and oceanography. He was general director of an ecological research center from 1983 to 1989 and director of the INSP’s infectious diseases research center from 1990 to 1993.  

Ondarza–Vidaurreta wrote more than 15 books, including biology texts, and numerous chapters and articles. Among his many honors, he received the Academia Nacional de Medicina de México’s Carnot Award and an honorary doctorate from the University of Paris XIII. In addition to the ASBMB, he was a member of National Academy of Medicine of Mexico, the Biochemical Society of Great Britain, the Mexican National Legion of Honor and the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. He was a founder of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the Mexican Association of Human Genetics.

Enjoy reading ASBMB Today?

Become a member to receive the print edition monthly and the digital edition weekly.

Learn more
ASBMB Today Staff

This article was written by a member or members of the ASBMB Today staff.

Get the latest from ASBMB Today

Enter your email address, and we’ll send you a weekly email with recent articles, interviews and more.

Latest in People

People highlights or most popular articles

ASBMB delegates leave their mark on policymaking
Feature

ASBMB delegates leave their mark on policymaking

Dec. 1, 2022

Advocacy Training Program participants use their new skills to improve their institutional environments, create new programs, draft policy recommendations, perform targeted outreach and more.

2022 Sewer scholarship winners announced
Society News

2022 Sewer scholarship winners announced

Nov. 28, 2022

The $2,000 award goes to undergraduates who demonstrate an interest in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology and enhance the diversity of science.

Brought to you (mostly) by and for women
Annual Meeting

Brought to you (mostly) by and for women

Nov. 23, 2022

The ASBMB’s Women in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Committee has big plans for Discover BMB 2023.

Dedicated to sharing science
Student Chapters

Dedicated to sharing science

Nov. 21, 2022

Introduced to scientific research through her Tufts University ASBMB Student Chapter, Lema Abuoqab works to make sure other students can have the same experience.

Tolbert named HHMI VP; new phase for Hannun
Member News

Tolbert named HHMI VP; new phase for Hannun

Nov. 21, 2022

Awards, promotions, milestones and more. Find out what's going on in the lives of ASBMB members.

What’s in the structural vaccine designer’s toolbox?
Interview

What’s in the structural vaccine designer’s toolbox?

Nov. 17, 2022

Structural biologist Jason McLellan, a researcher at UT Austin, has been recognized widely for his work on vaccine development. We asked him about the nuts and bolts of engineering the best antigen.