Professor, physician, researcher, immigrant, world traveler, linguist, coffee lover, high art aficionado, musician, 50-year Tiburon resident, and beloved husband, father and grandfather Dr. Giuseppe Inesi passed away on November 12, 2023, at the age of 92.
Born on May 23, 1931 in Crotone, Italy, Giuseppe spent his formative years in Ascoli Piceno, in central Italy. Academic success started early: taking note of his talent, teachers pushed him ahead several grades. As a result, he earned a medical degree at the University of Modena at the young age of 23, followed by a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Bologna.
After several years as a faculty member in Italy, Giuseppe immigrated to the United States to take up a position at the University of Pennsylvania. Over a long career in biochemistry teaching and research, he was later affiliated with Carnegie Mellon, University of California at San Francisco, Stanford, University of the Pacific, and the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Most prominently, he spent 25 years as chair of the biochemistry department of the University of Maryland.
Giuseppe was a leading light in biochemistry research, publishing over 300 papers, many of which are still widely cited today. His “h-index,” a measure of the influence of his papers, is over 60 — a level characterized by independent experts as “truly exceptional.”
Research and teaching collaborations took him all over the world, including lengthy stints in Brazil, Japan, Italy, Spain, and South Africa. Giuseppe enjoyed travel; when not in the lab, he was perhaps most in his element standing at a cafe in Rome or Rio, espresso in hand, joking with the barkeep in the local language. Dr. Inesi was often joined on these international adventures by his wife Francie — a globetrotting partnership that spanned more than 50 years.
Travel also provided an outlet for Giuseppe’s love of the arts. From Caravaggio to Goya, from the symphony to the opera, Giuseppe spent considerable time studying, enjoying, and discussing the artistic classics. In music, he was also a participant, starting with an early career playing clarinet in a European traveling jazz band.
For a man of the mind, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis seems particularly cruel. Yet Giuseppe’s essential good nature remained intact, and was perhaps even distilled. Everybody loved him, from caretakers to neighbors to doctors. For his family in particular, Giuseppe provided a north star of good humor, equanimity, and wisdom. He remained close with relatives near and far, and his was always the number to call for help and sage advice. He will be missed.
A memorial service is planned for December 16th at 1:30pm at St. Hilary’s Church in Tiburon. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Giuseppe’s memory can be directed in his name to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (https://curealz.org/giving/donate).