In Memoriam: Que Lan

On 7 March 2014, Dr. Que Lan (Lan) passed away after a sudden illness during treatment of gastric cancer in Madison, WI.

A memorial service for Que Lan will take place at the Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society (directions here) on Friday, April 4th at 6 p.m. Click here to view the brochure with details.

Lan is survived by her husband, Dave (Dyer) and their children Crystal and Hunter, of Madison; her parents in Wuhan, China; and extended family in Minnesota. To the last Lan was surrounded by family and friends. It is with deep sadness that the UW-Madison Department of Entomology community of faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral associates, research technicians and staff convey news of  Lan’s passing and extend condolences to all of Lan’s family, friends and colleagues in the U.S. and abroad. 

Lan was born 9 October 1959 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China. She received her B.S. in Microbiology from Wuhan University. She went on to earn her M.S. in Biology from Brock University in St. Catharine’s, Ontario and her Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Minnesota. Lan conducted her postdoctoral research at the University of Washington in Seattle, followed by a faculty position in the Biology Department at the University of Northern Iowa. She joined the faculty of the Entomology Department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2001 and became affiliated faculty with the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center at UW-Madison in 2009.

Lan’s research program focused on toxicology and the discovery of new ways to control insects.  She had a longstanding interest in identifying the key components of cholesterol metabolism in insects and successfully developed inhibitors that would specifically target this pathway.  She had major projects devoted to identifying novel insecticides from bacteria that kill or repel mosquitoes. Lan applied her skills in cell biology to develop new ways to produce transgenic mosquitoes that could reduce vectoring of pathogens that cause human diseases such as malaria. In addition, she recently began a project to identify the mechanisms leading to insecticide resistance in Colorado Potato Beetles.

Lan will be remembered among our department and colleagues campus-wide for her scientific contributions and passion for discovery. Beyond science, Lan touched many lives professionally and personally as a colleague, mentor to students and staff, teacher and friend with intelligence, gravity, a sharp wit and sense of humor, and kindness and consideration of others in her daily interactions with all of us. We will miss her dearly.

Memorial arrangements for Lan are in process and details will be available and posted in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Dr. David Hogg, Entomology Department Chair dhogg@cals.wisc.edu / (608) 262-4060.  

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