With sadness I share that BUSM (Boston University School of Medicine) Professor Emeritus in Physiology and Medicine Alvin Essig, MD, died July 22 at age 91. A professor at BUSM for more than 40 years, Dr. Essig was an international scholar regarding the application of thermodynamics to epithelial transport processes.
He received his BS in mathematics from Harvard and his MD from The Ohio State University. After internships at Kings County and Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., he served as a lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Navy. He specialized in Nephrology at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Essig’s search for an understanding of the transport mechanisms in renal epithelia in terms of fundamental physical-chemical principles led him to work with Ora Kedem, a pioneer in the development of irreversible thermodynamics, at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. Upon his return to the US he joined the faculty at Tufts Medical School, was a lecturer in Biophysics at Harvard Medical School, and joined BUSM in 1973 as a professor of Physiology and research professor of Medicine, where he worked until his retirement in 2013.
Dr. Essig published numerous scientific articles and in 1983 he authored, together with Roy Caplan, what is now considered a classic textbook, “Bioenergetics and Linear Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics.”
Beloved husband of Caroline (Wechsler) Essig. Devoted father of Steven Essig, and Rina Davis and her husband Glenn. Dear grandfather of Heather Davis. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to a charity of your choice.