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James D. Satterlee

by Susan J. Ainsworth
October 6, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 40

James D. Satterlee, 66, a chemistry professor at Washington State University, in Pullman, died of cancer in Seattle on June 23.

Born in Seattle, Satterlee earned a B.A. in 1970 and an M.S. in 1971, both in chemistry from Central Washington University, in Ellensburg. He then earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1976 from the University of California, Davis, under Gerd N. LaMar. He conducted postdoctoral research at California Institute of Technology.

Satterlee began his 36-year career in academia at Northern Illinois University, serving as an assistant professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry from 1978 until 1981, when he joined the chemistry faculty of the University of New Mexico. In 1989, he moved to Washington State University.

In his research, Satterlee focused on nuclear magnetic resonance theory and techniques for studying paramagnetic proteins. In addition, he applied these techniques to study the structures and mechanisms of heme oxygen-sensing and signaling proteins and cytochrome c peroxidase, a crucial component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain.

He served on the editorial boards of several journals and was a long-standing contributor to the National Institutes of Health’s Metallobiochemistry Study Section. He received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellowship in 1983.

Satterlee was a member of ACS from 1979 until 2008.

Deeply committed to his students, he offered open-door weekend chemistry tutorial sessions and advice and encouragement.

He enjoyed walking with his dog, Rose, through the wheat fields outside of Pullman, watching fantasy movies with swordplay, and yelling “Banzai!” to begin each NMR experiment. He is remembered for his compassion and generosity and his quest for the world’s best enchilada.

Satterlee is survived by his wife, Sandy, and his daughter, Ashton.

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


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