Les Iversen, a distinguished neurochemist and former Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurochemistry (1975-79), died on July 30th 2020 just before his 83rd birthday. Les took his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge (1964) and achieved early distinction through his doctoral thesis becoming a best selling book entitled “The Uptake and Storage of Noradrenaline in Sympathetic Nerves” (1967). After postdoctoral research in the USA, including with Nobel Prize winner Julius Axelrod, he returned to Cambridge where he had a successful career in the Department of Pharmacology as Director of the MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit (1970-83). His broad-based experience related to central neurotransmission led to a productive period in the pharmaceutical industry as Director of the Neuroscience Research Centre, Merck Sharpe and Dohme Ltd, Harlow, UK (1983-95). He then returned to academia in London and Oxford. Les was seminally involved in the legal battle where ISN gained full control of the Journal of Neurochemistry (1980) and after which ISN had a firm financial base. He published some 400 papers, one of which is the most highly cited in Journal of Neurochemistry. Not surprisingly he gained many honours and awards, including prestigious lectureships from learned societies, and received the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (2013). He trained large numbers of students and postdoctoral scientists, and made diverse contributions to academia, the pharmaceutical industry and society.

Read in the Journal of Neurochemistry the full obituary.

Philip Beart
ISN Historian