Former UC Davis biochemistry chair E. Morton Bradbury ...
NEWS | February 2, 2012

Former UC Davis biochemistry chair E. Morton Bradbury dies at 78


E. Morton Bradbury, former chair and professor emeritus of the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, died after a short illness on Jan. 5 at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, N.M. He was in the presence of his family.

Dr. Bradbury was born on May 25, 1933 in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. He obtained a Ph.D. in 1958 from King's College, University of London. His academic appointments until his retirement in 2007 included head of the department of molecular biology in Portsmouth Polytechnic, departmental chair of biological sciences at UC Davis, and life sciences division director at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Dr. Bradbury was a pioneering scientist, exceptionally diverse and successful in the field of chromatin structure and modification, neutron diffraction and NMR. He mentored 100 students and post-docs, published more than 300 papers, coauthored a book and was the recipient of numerous prizes. He lectured worldwide, including at the Nobel Ceremony, and at the Pope's Vatican Symposium celebrating 350 years of the publication of Galileo's treatise on the Copernican theory. Beyond his scientific accomplishments, Dr. Bradbury was known for his humanity and his equal treatment of everyone, be they students, janitors or directors.

As a husband, father, grandfather and friend, Dr. Bradbury was, without exception, a loving, respectful, caring and unconventional man, touching all those who met him with his respect and unassuming nature. In later years, he became a passionate collector and expert in African art, befriending the many traders he met, some becoming his close friends. His African collection became a life's work.

Morton is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Antonija; his four children, Andrew, Mala, Vlado and Erna; his daughter-in-law Ilia; his eight grandchildren, Stephanie, Dillon, Aidan, Owen, Maya, Anya, Zoe and Odette; and his cat, Starbright.

A private service celebrating Dr. Bradbury's life was held in Santa Fe. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the non-profit organization Coming Home Connection or Save The Children.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at