December 08, 2010

Memorial service for Daniel Dyer set for Friday

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill -- Faculty and staff at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will hold a memorial service this week for an organic chemistry professor who died after a battle with brain cancer.

Daniel J. Dyer, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, died Monday, Dec. 6, at his home in Carbondale. He was diagnosed in July 2009 with glioblastoma multiforme or GBM -- a common and aggressive form of brain cancer.

The memorial for Dyer is set for 5-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, in the Student Center Auditorium. Following the service, organizers are planning a pot-luck dinner at Field of Dreams banquet facility, 3034 N. Reed Station Road, about 2.5 miles north of Illinois 13 east in Carbondale. The dinner will last until 9 p.m.

Dyer came to SIUC as an assistant professor in 1998, becoming a full professor in 2009 and serving as assistant chair of the department from 2004 until the time of his death.

Dyer, who focused much of his work on materials chemistry, won a prestigious CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation in 2001. He also won numerous grants from organizations including the National Institutes of Health, 3M, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the American Chemical Society and others. He also was instrumental in strengthening undergraduate research by helping bring the NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates grant to SIUC.

After his diagnosis, Dyer turned his research energies to brain chemistry, focusing on finding a cure for GBM. The disease takes the life of 75 percent of those diagnosed within two years.

A memorial fund has been established in his memory. Those interested in donating to The Dan Dyer Memorial Scholarship Fund can do so through the SIU Foundation. Options include going online to the foundation’s “Make a Gift” page located at Donors can also mail a check to the SIU Foundation, 1235 Douglas Drive, Colyer Hall, Mailcode 6805, Carbondale, IL 62901. Call the foundation at 618/453-4900, for more information.