Christine C. Dykstra, associate professor in the Department of Pathobiology, died Jan. 30 after a battle against metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Dykstra was a graduate of Sweetbriar College in Lynchburg, Va. She earned a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Georgia.
“All of us were inspired by Chris" warmth, upbeat attitude, and absolute dedication to her work that persisted despite the pain of her illness until the final days of her life,” said Dr. Calvin Johnson, head of the Department of Pathobiology.
Dr. Dykstra was in the midst of an NIH-funded project to develop new drugs that target the synthesis of the cyst wall of Giardia. This was the latest phase of a productive scientific career that spanned appointments at the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, MIT, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Auburn.
Dr. Dykstra joined the Auburn faculty in 1995 where she maintained a successful and interactive research program that led to collaborations across the university campus and beyond. “As an extension of her research and intense interest in veterinary medicine, she contributed regularly and enthusiastically to the graduate and veterinary curricula,” said Dr. Johnson. “Chris’ collegiality and contributions to the scientific, educational, and administrative work of our institution will be deeply missed.”
Dr. Dykstra’s family suggests her memory be honored by donations to the South Region Pony Club (South Region Fund, c/o Nancy Thrasher, Treasurer, 1889 Westside Way, Monroe, GA 30655), the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, or individual efforts on behalf of someone suffering with cancer or those who help them.