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Trevor C. McMorris

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 15, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 28

This is a minimug of Trevor C. McMorris.

Trevor C. McMorris, 82, a professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, died on Feb. 19. He had Parkinson’s disease.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, McMorris earned a B.Sc. in chemistry, physics, and mathematics in 1952 as part of the first graduating class of the University of the West Indies, in Mona, Jamaica. He received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Imperial College London in 1958 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College and the University of Western Ontario.

McMorris then accepted a research position at the New York Botanical Garden in 1960 before joining the UCSD chemistry and biochemistry faculty as an associate professor in 1973.

Focusing his research on the design and synthesis of analogs of natural substances, he studied the antitumor agent illudin and the plant hormone brassinolide. McMorris was the first to synthesize irofulven, an analog of illudin, which was developed as a possible cure for pancreatic cancer by MGI Pharma (now part of Eisai Pharmaceuticals). He retired in 2001.

McMorris’ first wife, Helen, died in 1981. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Georgette; four stepsons; and seven stepgrandchildren.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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