Widgets Magazine

School of Medicine professor emerita dies at 89

Dora Goldstein, School of Medicine professor emerita in molecular pharmacology, died on Oct. 2 after a fall in her Palo Alto home. She was 89.

Goldstein was a leading researcher on alcoholism, studying the biological effects of alcohol and helping to explain the mechanisms behind tolerance for and dependence on the drug. In 1981, the Research Society on Alcoholism honored her with its Award of Scientific Excellence, and in 1992, she received the Jellinek Memorial Award, given each year to an individual who has made a substantial advancement to the field of alcohol studies.

In addition to her scholarly research, she blazed a path for women in medicine –she was accepted to Harvard Medical School in the school’s first class of women – and was involved in both civil rights and gay rights movements. In the 1960s, she served as vice president of her local NAACP chapter, and in the 1990s, she was on the national board of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Goldstein was born in 1922 in Milton, Mass. She briefly studied chemistry at Bryn Mawr College, but left to perform research for the U.S. war effort when World War II broke out. After the war ended, she was accepted to Harvard Medical School, where she met School of Medicine professor emeritus Avram Goldstein, whom she studied under at Harvard and would later marry.

The couple joined Stanford’s School of Medicine faculty in 1955.

“Dr. Goldstein was dedicated to supporting women faculty in the School of Medicine,” the school’s dean of research Ann Arvin said in an obituary on the School of Medicine’s website.

A memorial was held in honor of Goldstein on Oct. 9.

– Kurt Chirbas