More detail on this person: Elliott was known for his intellect, inquisitiveness and dogged scientific rigor. He possessed an encyclopaedic knowledge of topics as varied as Modern American poetry, economics, art, the history of World War II, and his life's work-Biochemistry. He was in every sense, a true "Renaissance Man". Elliott had a very full life - his first forty years saw him as a competitive swimmer, a long-distance runner, and an avid student of literature, history, chemistry and biology. After his first degree, a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Elliott was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, and was a Medevac helicopter pilot in Viet Nam (with Bronze Star and Air Medals), and after service he was a licensed stock broker with Merrill Lynch in Manhattan. But the true arc of his life was defined by his scientific work in molecular biology, which began with his B.S. Degree in Biochemistry and to which he returned in the early 1980's with various research positions at the VA Hospital and Vanderbilt. The animating force in Elliott was his desire to change lives through his research in molecular biology and chemistry, and he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. In 1988 he founded BioVentures. On Thanksgiving Day, 1990, Elliott had an epiphany that what was needed was a way to mark, or to label, DNA segments and with that profound insight BioVentures embarked on developing a range of "DNA Markers", which were essential in mapping the human genome. That and other discoveries led to DNA markers that have been used domestically and by Scotland Yard and Interpol to create a criminal database to determine those responsible for crimes. As part of that research, BioVentures discoveries enabled researchers to quickly identify germs in samples from ill patients and then how best to treat them. His efforts led to over 100 patents, and have been instrumental in the explosion of knowledge of the human DNA, and to the treatment of a number of diseases. Elliott invented the tools which other scientists would use to make ground-breaking discoveries in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. With his achievements came a National R&D 100 Award and collaborative research projects with universities in the U.S. and Europe, and over 22 published research articles. His research and discoveries were and are life-changing. In the end Elliott succumbed to the "emperor of all maladies"-cancer. In conversations with colleagues and friends he felt that his work would also contribute to cracking that code too. Elliott would appreciate knowing that his colleagues and friends would consider him "il miglior fabbro" - the finer craftsman. His genius will be sorely missed by the wider scientific community, but now he is most missed by his family, friends and colleagues. Elliott was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Annie Dee Dawson. He is survived by his wife Susan Hope Dawson, a daughter, brother Scott (Barbara) Dawson, sisters Patricia (James) Doyle and Peggy (Steve) Richards. With much care and love, Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home have assisted with the arrangements. Please leave online condolences at www.jenningsandayers.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the BioVentures, Inc. Chemistry and Biology Scholarship Fund at MTSU. Donations may be sent to BioVentures Scholarships, c/o MTSU Foundation, Box 109, 1301 E. Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Questions may be directed to Pat Branam at email@example.com or at 615-904-8409. There will be a "Celebration of Life" held on September 13, 2018. Please call 615-898-1178 or 615-893-8336 for details.
This information was last updated 12/24/2018
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