C. David Allis, PhD

Class Year



Posted on: January 25, 2023

C. David Allis, PhD, a molecular biologist whose research greatly advanced scientific understanding of how proteins interact with genes and helped set the foundations for potential new drug treatments for lymphomas and other diseases, died Jan. 8, 2023 at a hospital in Seattle. He was 71. You can find his obituary in The Washington Post here.

Following is an excerpt from a tribute shared by the UVA School of Medicine, where Allis was a professor from 1998-2003:

The School of Medicine mourns the untimely passing of our former colleague C. David Allis, PhD on January 8, 2023.  The way we think about epigenetics today was largely shaped by him and his team while he was a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (BMG) at UVA from 1998-2003.  His seminal contributions have been recognized by his election to the National Academy of Science in 2006 and the 2018 Lasker Award among many other honors.  We are eternally grateful for his seminal contributions, his service to the UVA community and the lasting impact on our research mission.  Dr. Allis was not only a wonderful scientist but a humble human being, and a great colleague and mentor.  Two things stand out about him.  First, his unflinching passion and dedication to pursue basic science and work on chromatin when work on chromatin was anything but popular and second, his acknowledgments of his talented students and postdocs “who made the science happen over the years.”  He said: “They are a big reason for any of my successes; they are the unsung heroes.”