Kennell, professor of molecular microbiology, 78

David E. Kennell, PhD, professor emeritus of molecular microbiology, died April 20, 2011. He was 78 and lived in University City, Mo.

Kennell earned undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was on the swim team. He joined Washington University in 1961 as an instructor in microbiology and became professor in 1973. He served on the School of Medicine’s Faculty Council in the late 1960s. He retired in 1997 and became emeritus professor in 1998.

Kennell’s research focused on the metabolism of nucleic acids and proteins. He and his coworkers shared the drive to do basic microbial molecular biology and a concern for society, social injustice and the environment. After his retirement, he continued to write essays that appeared in scientific publications. He also published articles supporting the importance of stem cell research.

He was an avid swimmer, cyclist and hiker.

He is survived by his wife, Wilma Tanner Kennell; sons Charles Evan Kennell, Fred Tanner Kennell and daughter Laura Suzanne Kennell.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Earth Island Institute or the National American Civil Liberties Union.