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C. Sean Esslinger

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 5, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 27


C . Sean Esslinger, 46, a research associate professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Montana, died on May 2 as the result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident.

Esslinger earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from New Mexico State University in 1986 and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Colorado State University in 1992 under Robert M. Williams.

He then accepted a postdoctoral appointment with A. R. Chamberlin at the University of California, Irvine, from 1992 to 1995. He continued this work in a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Montana from 1995 to 1997, working with Richard J. Bridges and Charles M. Thompson. Esslinger received fellowships from the American Heart Association in 1996 and the National Institutes of Health from 1997 to 1998 to develop and study small-molecule inhibitors of glutamate transporters.

In 1999, he joined the department of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Montana as a research assistant professor of neurochemistry. He received a National Institutes of Health R01 award in 2004 to study glutamine-transport pharmacology. In 2005, Esslinger was promoted to research associate professor. He was also a cofounder of a start-up company. Esslinger joined ACS in 1998.

An accomplished artist, he was also an avid fly fisherman and enjoyed motorcycle riding.

He is survived by his fiancé, Doreen Cook; three sisters, Shelly, Stephanie, and Jennifer; and mother, Pat Esslinger-Carr.


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