Dr. B. Rowe Byers, professor emeritus of microbiology who taught countless medical, dental and graduate students at UMMC, most of whom still practice in Mississippi, died June 26 after a prolonged serious illness.
A native of Austin, Texas, Byers received the B.A. in zoology in 1958 and the M.S. in microbiology in 1960 from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Texas in 1966, where he served a one-year postdoctoral fellowship.
He joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of microbiology in 1967 and was named a professor of microbiology in 1977. He remained a tenured active faculty member until his retirement in 2007.
A highly respected research scientist, Byers was the recipient of several research grants and awards, served as a member of the National Council, American Society for Microbiology, and was the author or coauthor of numerous scientific publications regarding iron metabolism in bacteria and the relationship to disease manifestation and prevention in humans. Recently, he had served as editor of a book about the development of potential new drugs to treat tuberculosis.
Visitation took place June 30 at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Ridgeland and on July 1 with Mass of Christian Burial at St. Richard Catholic Church in Jackson. A graveside service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3, at the Hornsby family cemetery in Austin, Texas.
Memorials in honor of Byers may be made to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (www.stjude.org) or to the National Kidney Foundation (www.kidney.org). For online condolences, visit www.wrightferguson.com.