Duquesne University Mourns the Passing of Dr. Jeffry Madura

The Duquesne University community is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dr. Jeffry Madura, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences (BSNES). He was 59.

Dr. Madura first joined Duquesne in 1998 and served as chemistry and biochemistry chair from 2000-2010. He was well known among his students and highly respected by his colleagues.

"Jeff Madura was a talented teacher, mentor and scholar, and-first and foremost-a consummate professional in every sense of the word," said BSNES Dean Dr. Philip Reeder. "He will be deeply missed, but his legacy will live on through his students."

Some of Dr. Madura's various honors include the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award in 1997; the 2002 BSNES award for Excellence in Service; the 2007 BSNES Award for Excellence in Scholarship; and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 2007. In 2013, he was selected as Duquesne's inaugural Lambert F. Minucci Endowed Chair in Engineering and Computational Sciences.

Dr. Madura, who received more than $10 million in external research funding during his career, investigated computational chemistry and biophysics models, designing molecules that will physically and chemically fit where they are needed to interrupt signals for pain and other conditions associated with addiction, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.

"Jeff was a beloved colleague, innovative teacher, dedicated mentor and brilliant researcher," said Dr. Ellen Gawalt, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "He worked tirelessly to uphold the mission of the University for the students of Duquesne to ensure that they received the best education possible. The department is deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, sons, mother and his students."

In 2008, Dr. Madura was inducted into the Duquesne University Office of Research Hall of Fame. He was named a second-time inductee in 2015 as a Hall of Fame Gold Card recipient for his commitment to enhancing Duquesne's reputation as a research institution.

Dr. Madura published more than 100 papers in physical chemistry and chemical physics, and was co-editor of the Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modeling. He also co-authored Principles of Physical Chemistry by Kuhn, Foersterling and Waldeck and the textbook General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications.

In 2011, Dr. Madura was elected as a prestigious American Chemical Society Fellow (ACS) in recognition of his contributions to science and his years of service to the ACS. "Receiving this award is a real honor and most importantly to me, it is a great day for science at Duquesne University-and in particular the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry," Dr. Madura said in 2014 when he received the Pittsburgh Award from the Pittsburgh Section of the ACS for his outstanding leadership in chemical affairs in the local and larger professional community.

In addition, Dr. Madura managed the JDM Group through the Center for Computational Sciences at Duquesne. The group features interdisciplinary research projects by University students who work with faculty from Duquesne, Pitt, Chatham and Washington and Jefferson College.

Dr. Madura earned a B.A. in chemistry from Thiel College in 1980; a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Purdue University in 1985; and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Houston from 1986-1990.

Dr. Madura is survived by his wife Colleen and sons Brandon and Peyton.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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