In Memoriam Professor Armand Fulco

Armand joined the Biological Chemistry faculty in 1965 as an assistant professor and became an emeritus professor in October 2003. Armand’s friends fondly describe him as a “Bruin through and through.” Armand began his UCLA career in the early 1950s and graduated with a B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1957. He remained at UCLA for his PhD working on the metabolism of fatty acids in the laboratory of Jim Mead in the Department of Physiological Chemistry. Finishing his PhD in 1960, he moved to Harvard University to continue his training in lipid biochemistry as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Konrad Bloch. In1963, Armand returned to UCLA and from 1963 to 1965 worked as a research biochemist in the Department of Biophysics and Nuclear Medicine.  Since 1965, he has remained in the Department of Biological Chemistry, becoming a full professor in 1976.
Armand had a distinguished research career. Extending his work on lipid metabolism, he discovered a bacterial fatty acid metabolizing enzyme that was cytochrome P450 dependent and inducible by phenobarbital. For most of his career, he studied the structure and regulation of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases in his favorite model organism, Bacillus Megaterium. In later years, he turned his attention to the study of barbiturate-inducible P450 genes in rat. At the same time, Armand was a dedicated educator. He trained numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and, later in his career, became an integral member of the School of Medicine’s Admissions Committee. Underscoring his commitment to medical education, he continued to be an active teacher as an emeritus faculty member and in 2004 received the Excellence in Teaching Award, presented by the UCLA School of Medicine Class of 2006.

Since Armand’s passing, I have spoken to numerous faculty members about Armand as a person, scientist, and teacher. He touched many with his wisdom, kindness, humor and friendship, and will be sorely missed. 

A memorial service for Armand will be held inside the California Room at the Faculty Center on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 2pm.

(written by Kelsey Martin, Professor and Chair, Biological Chemistry)

Armand’s obituary has been posted in the LA Times.

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