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Carter, professor of biological sciences, emeritus, has died

Nov. 22, 2019, 9:21 AM

Clint E. Carter

Clint E. Carter, an emeritus professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University whose research focused on immunology and tropical diseases, died Nov. 9.

Carter was born in Oklahoma and soon moved to Redlands, California. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Loma Linda University and his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was awarded a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts, where he worked under the direction of Donald Fairbairn, an internationally renowned investigator in the biochemistry of parasitic infections.

Carter came to Vanderbilt in 1973 as an assistant professor in the Department of General Biology. In 1976, he was named director of graduate studies for the department. He was made an associate professor in 1979 and a full professor in 1988. From 1984 to 1989, he served as chair of the Department of Biology. He also served as director of undergraduate studies for the department, as well as on the Faculty Senate.

Throughout his career, Carter’s study and research focused on better understanding the biochemical and immunological intersections between multicellular parasites and their human hosts. His research resulted in more than 90 scientific publications.

His stature in the field is reflected in his election to numerous offices in national and international scientific organizations, including the NIH Tropical Medicine and Parasitology Study Section, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Advisory Committee, and the editorial board of the Journal of Parasitology. He served on an NIH-sponsored team of tropical disease researchers in China, Japan and Brazil. He also co-authored the book Human Parasitology, now in its fifth edition.

Carter was awarded emeritus status by Vanderbilt in 2013 after serving the university for more than 39 years. He took great pride in students’ development along their career paths in the biological sciences and celebrated their accomplishments while earning master’s and doctoral degrees in his research laboratory. Former colleagues and students, as well as family members, remember Carter for his unfailing kindness and warmth.

“I thoroughly enjoyed having Clint as a colleague, friend and my department chair,” said Terry Page, professor of biological sciences, emeritus. “As a colleague and chair, he was always generous with his time and willing to help with any problem, whether it be teaching, research or administrative in nature. As a friend, Clint was simply a terrific person—generous, kind, empathetic and a great sense of humor. I am sorry he is gone.”

Carter is survived by his wife of 57 years, Patty; a daughter, Holly Graham; a son, Matthew Carter; four grandchildren; a sister, Charlene Youngquist; a sister-in-law, Judy Newhoff; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A private memorial service will be held in California.