NEWS | March 6, 2012

UC Davis Professor Emeritus Robert R. Traut dies at 77


Dr. Robert R. Traut, professor emeritus in the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, died on Feb. 29 in Davis, Calif., following a brief illness. He was 77.

Dr. Traut was born on Oct. 21, 1934, in Utica, N.Y. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., in 1956, and his Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in New York in 1962. After completing postdoctoral work at the Medical Research Center in Cambridge, England, Dr. Traut worked at the University of Geneva in Switzerland for six years in the field or protein synthesis and ribosomes.

In 1970, Dr. Traut was appointed as an associate professor at UC Davis by Edwin Krebs, the founding chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry, and the 1992 Nobel Prize recipient in Medicine/Physiology. Dr. Traut continued his pioneering work on the structure and function of ribosomes and became internationally acclaimed in his field. Thermo Scientific Pierce Protein Research Products continues to sell the very popular Traut's Reagent (2-iminothiolane).

Dr. Traut made many significant research contributions, published more than 150 papers in scientific journals, and trained many students and postdoctoral researchers. His teaching of all aspects of metabolism to first-year students in the UC Davis School of Medicine was a major contributor to their outstanding performance on the National Boards for over a quarter of a century. Dr. Traut retired from UC Davis in 1995.

Dr. Traut was known as a talented cook and a fine wine connoisseur, and for his passion for Saluki dogs, which he raised at his home in Davis. He also loved gardening, mountain hiking and running with his dogs.

He is survived by his sons, Ashley Traut and David Dow, and two grandchildren. In lieu of a service, there will be an open house on Thursday, March 8, from 3-7 p.m. at 647 Fillmore Street, Davis, Calif.

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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