Edward F. Pate
(December 19, 1949 - January 2, 2016)
Edward Franklin Pate Jr., of Pullman, Washington passed away on January 2, 2016. He was 66 years old. Edward is survived by his wife, Patricia Pate; his daughter, Julie Jensen (nee Pate); his three grandchildren, Aidan Pate, Piper Jensen and Keagan Jensen; his son-in-law, Mark Jensen; daughter-in-law, Miranda Nyguen Pate; his brother and sister, Charles and Karen Pate; and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Tippy Pate and son, Stephen Pate.
Ed was born on December 19, 1949 in Atlanta, Georgia to Edward and Tippy Pate. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute located in Troy, NY where he received his undergraduate, Master of Science and Ph.D in Mathematical Sciences. It was while obtaining his Ph.D that he met and married Patricia Eldridge. After their wedding, the couple moved to Israel where Ed was a student fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Their time in Israel proved to be an exciting beginning to their 42 years of marriage. After returning from Israel, the couple moved to California where Ed worked in the aerospace industry and was subsequently a Research Associate in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology.
In 1980, Ed joined the faculty at Washington State University in the Department of Mathematics. At this point Ed was a well trained biomathematician but wanted to learn more about the biological systems he was working on. To do so, he established a collaboration with Dr. Roger Cooke at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. This proved to be an extremely successful partnership, resulting in 51 publications. Ed brought the rigour of mathematics to the field of muscle but also became an accomplished muscle physiologist, biochemist and structural biologist. He maintained his positions with WSU and the collaboration with UCSF until his death.
During his tenure with these institutions, he and his associates devoted their careers to understanding how motor proteins function. His research touched many different areas, starting with understanding the process of muscle fatigue, moving on to elucidating the role of molecular motors in cell division, and finally studying the role of motor proteins in muscle metabolism. Ed was dedicated to the science, driven by a true curiosity to know how things worked. He brought an often much needed degree of organization and attention to details. Along the way he patiently nurtured a large number of students introducing them to the world of the motor proteins and the methodology of the scientific approach. He had a wry sense of humor that made the workplace more enjoyable. Many times when things were not working out, often late at night, Ed would quote ”why is it all so hard?", a line from a Janis Joplin song, making everyone laugh and get back to solving the problem.
Ed's research covered many different areas and will help the medical community develop treatments for conditions such as cardiovascular disease, muscle disorders, cancer, type II diabetes and obesity. Ed was continuously funded for over 30 years by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and a number of other agencies. Ed's last grant was ranked in the top 1% of all NIH grants, a rare accomplishment. In addition to his illustrious career, Ed enjoyed collecting wine, cooking and genealogy. He will be remembered by his family and friends as a hard-working and thoughtful person who made a lasting impact on all of their lives.