I know that many of you will be sad to hear that John Schwab passed away on Sunday, May 1. John was a highly respected and beloved member of the M&I faculty from 1953 until his retirement in 1995. His research pioneered the use of experimental animal models to study how bacterial cell wall components contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. John was a rigorous scientist with a warm and gentle personality, and he once wrote the following about his long career in the Department:
“What many people not familiar with this life would find most amazing is that I still find it exciting and cannot imagine living without the intellectual challenge of the laboratory and the minds of students. Equally surprising to many is that I could spend nearly all of this time in one
institution. The reason, of course, is that I found here a climate of intellectual ferment in a rather unique combination with a spirit of collegialism. This precious environment in which I have been so happy, and I think productive, did not happen by chance, rather it was, and remains, the result of the excitement of being part of a new enterprise with high purpose, led by people who nurtured the inquiring mind. Such a place has attracted numerous brilliant and sensitive people who have had great influence on me, and it is wonderful that this process never ceases, as I continue to be inspired by newly arrived students and faculty colleagues. To the cynics who find more to criticize than praise and find my description idealized and overdone, I reply that these are my honest reflections; and to new students and faculty I say if you cannot prosper here you are not likely to do so anywhere.”
An obituary describing John’s life and career can be downloaded from the link below. That document also includes information about a memorial service (June 11) and how to make a memorial donation.