Mass to honor late Duquesne University chemistry professor

Courtesy of the Office of Marketing and Communications |Jeffry Madura, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at Duquesne, died March 14 at age 59. He will be remembered at a mass at Duquesne’s chapel March 16.

Courtesy of the Office of Marketing and Communications |Jeffry Madura, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at Duquesne, died March 14 at age 59. He will be remembered at a mass at Duquesne’s chapel March 16.

Brandon Addeo | News Editor

A longtime Duquesne science professor passed away unexpectedly earlier this week.

Jeffry Madura, who taught chemistry and biochemistry in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences for nearly 20 years, died March 14. He was 59.

“Please join me in expressing sympathy to his family, friends, colleagues and students,” Duquesne Provost Timothy Austin said in a mass email to campus March 14. “The entire Duquesne University community mourns the loss of our colleague and friend. May he rest in peace.”

Madura will be remembered at a Mass March 16 at noon in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. University Chaplain Rev. Dan Walsh invited the Duquesne community to attend and “pray for him and the consolation of his family.”

Madura started working at the Bayer school in 1998. He also served as the chair of the chemistry and biochemistry departments from 2000 to 2010.

“Jeff Madura was a talented teacher, mentor and scholar, and—first and foremost—a consummate professional in every sense of the word,” said Philip Reeder, dean of the Bayer school. “He will be deeply missed, but his legacy will live on through his students.”

Madura was awarded more than $10 million in external research funding during his career. Madura’s research, in part, focused on designing chemical compounds that can eliminate pain associated with conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and types of addiction.

He was also elected to a fellowship with the American Chemical Society in 2011, according to Duquesne spokeswoman Rose Ravasio.

Madura also led an interdisciplinary chemical research group, called the JDM Group, through Duquesne’s Center for Computational Sciences. The group collaborates with faculty from the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University and Washington and Jefferson College.

Former Duquesne science students recalled their experiences with Madura. Jimmy Brancho, a 2011 graduate, said Madura helped him as his academic advisor.

“I switched majors from pharmacy halfway through, so having Madura as an advisor really helped me navigate the chaos of trying to get everything done in 2 years,” Brancho said.

Kim Daley, a 2012 graduate, also praised Madura.

“He was a great mentor and he was one of the folks that encouraged me to go to grad school,” Daley said.

Ellen Gawalt, chair of chemistry and biochemistry at Duquesne, said Madura was someone who “worked tirelessly” and ensured students “received the best education possible.”

“Jeff was a beloved colleague, innovative teacher, dedicated mentor and brilliant researcher,” Gawalt said. “The department is deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, sons, mother and his students.”

Madura is survived by his wife, Colleen, and two sons, Peyton and Brandon.

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