Thomas Minor

Thomas Minor, 64, a professor in the departments of psychology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences, died from bladder cancer Monday, March 27, in Burbank, California, with his family at his bedside.

Minor explored the metabolic challenges resulting from behavior adversely impacted by stress. His research ranged from working with animal models to doing applied research involving military personnel undergoing combat stress.

Minor was working on how to build resilience to stressors to prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, said his colleague Michael Fanselow, UCLA psychology professor and chair of the learning and behavior area.

“Tom was always wonderfully passionate about his work,” said Fanselow. “Tom’s contribution to teaching at UCLA was also exemplary; he always taught more than was required of him and did so with joy. He was a terrific colleague.”  Minor was also affiliated with the Brain Research Institute.

Minor received his B.S. degree in psychology from Syracuse University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in psychobiology from State University of New York, Stony Brook, in 1981. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, from 1980-82 and a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado, Boulder, from 1982-84.

In 1984, Minor joined UCLA as an assistant professor of psychology. During his career, he served as associate editor of two journals, Animal Learning and Behavior and the International Journal of Force Effectiveness and Analysis. And he was on the Board of Editors for The Psychological Record.

His survivors include his wife, Cheryl Polfus, a student affairs officer with the UCLA Department of Psychology, and two children, Kellyn and Sean.

A campus memorial service organized by the psychology department will be held on Wednesday, May 17, at 4 p.m. To RSVP, please e-mail Susie Caruso in the department of psychology at scaruso@psych.ucla.edu for the location.