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Obituary: Gregory I. Goldberg, former dermatology professor, 74

Noted researcher also a professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics

May 31, 2022

Gregory I. Goldberg, PhD, a former professor of dermatology and longtime researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, died of heart failure Saturday, May 21, 2022, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He was 74.

Goldberg, who retired in 2020, also was a professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics. He had joined the School of Medicine in 1980 as a research associate in molecular microbiology. He later transferred to the Department of Medicine, in dermatology, as an assistant professor, and remained at the school his entire career.

Among his many scholarly works, he and colleagues described how an enzyme that degrades collagen is activated. The research is considered a seminal contribution to the field of dermatology.

A quote posted at the entrance to his former office summed up his life motto, his family said. The quote, from German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, reads: “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

Goldberg, who was born in Moscow, earned his bachelor’s degree from Moscow University and then a doctorate in molecular biology from Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

In addition to his career as a researcher, he was also an avid sailor, cook and devoted father.

He is survived by his children, Ilya Goldberg, Avi Shimon Goldberg and Rebecca Ellen Goldberg; and three grandchildren.

Funeral services took place May 23 at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Mo.

Memorial contributions may be made to Forest Park Forever and the Forsyth School, both in St. Louis.