Dr. Fumio Matsumura

Obituary: UCD scientist Fumio Matsumura studied chemicals' effects on health

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 5B

Dr. Fumio Matsumura, a noted UC Davis scientist who studied how agricultural chemicals affect human health, died Dec. 6 of pneumonia complications, according to a university news statement. He was 78.

Acclaimed in his field as "one of the grand masters of insect toxicology," Dr. Matsumura was a professor of environmental toxicology and entomology. He had taught at UC Davis since 1987 and was former director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, where he led research into the effects of agrochemicals on human tissues. His recent work was in breast cancer research.

He lectured at international conferences, served on scientific panels and received major academic and professional honors. He co-wrote a classic textbook, "Toxicology of Insecticides," in 1975 that has been used by generations of students.

Born Feb. 5, 1934, in Fukui, Japan, Dr. Matsumura graduated from University of Tokyo. He studied entomology in Canada to earn a master's degree from University of Alberta in 1959 and a doctorate from University of Western Ontario in 1961.

He did research at University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and Cornell University and worked at University of Wisconsin in Madison and Michigan State University. He was chairman of the UC Davis entomology department from 1996 to 1998.

A Davis resident, Dr. Matsumura was married for 47 years to his wife, Teruko. He was an expert downhill and cross-country skier.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Ichiro and Miko; and one grandson. A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at the UC Davis Conference Center.

Donations may be made payable to the UC Davis Foundation with "Fumio Matsumura Annual Symposium Endowment" noted in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Dean's Office, c/o Mark Foncannon, 140 Environmental Horticulture, 1 Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616.

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