Elvin "John" Harper
November 19, 1930—July 16, 2019
Elvin Harper died on July 16, 2019 at the age of 88. He was born in New York City on November 19, 1930 to Eunice and Elkins Harper. John received his education in New York at Bronx High School of Science and City College, graduating with a B.S. in 1952. He continued with his education at Brooklyn College for an M.A. and obtained a Ph.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1966. After postdoctoral research at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, he joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Harper was promoted to Associate Professor at Harvard and then joined the faculty at UCSD Chemistry Department in 1973. His research focused on the regulation of collagen metabolism in normal and disease states. His major contribution was the discovery that the enzyme collagenase existed as a zymogen form requiring activation by another protease. He retired from research in 1994 and pursued other interests including opera, music, chess and travel. He was a very loyal and disciplined person and expected the same from others. He tempered this with a wonderful sense of humor. John is survived by his wife of 43 years, Dr. Judith Harper, his brothers-in-law Dr. Alan Hiti (Linda), Don Hiti (Lana), his sisters in-law CeCe Long (Bill), Joy Karns (Marvin) and many nephews, nieces, great nephews and nieces.