Daniel E. Atkinson, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA for nearly 40 years who was recognized internationally for his seminal contributions to metabolic biochemistry, died Feb. 2 at his home in Medford, Oregon. He was 102.

Atkinson was just the second biochemist appointed to what is now the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, in 1952. He retired in 1991 but remained active in the UCLA community until moving to Oregon in 2011. Over the years, he trained more than 30 doctoral students in his laboratory, as well as over 20 postdoctoral fellows and visiting faculty.

In his research — Atkinson authored more than 90 published studies with his students — he pioneered the field of metabolic regulation. His work allowed for the development of the concept of “energy charge,” which today is a main topic in biochemistry textbooks. He was also responsible for our present understanding of the biological role of the urea cycle in pH regulation.

Atkinson’s acclaimed 1977 monograph “Cellular Energy Metabolism and its Regulation,” is still widely read in the field. In a 2005 review, John Duncan wrote that “anyone wanting a readable introduction to the classic ideas of metabolic regulation could scarcely find a better place to start.” And in a 2013 review, Ralph Osgood wrote that Atkinson was a pioneer in the field of biochemistry and that the book still had “a touch of delicious heresy. A great book still, many years later, from a great scientist.”

Read the full obituary on the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry website.