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Obituary for Dr. Chia Sheng (Rick) Lin
“Rick” Chia Sheng Lin, PhD -- A Gentle Giant with a Servant Heart “Rick” Chia Sheng Lin, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday January 10, 2017 with family and friends by his side. A service will be held at Pinelake Church at noon on January 21, 2017, with a visitation from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Memorials may be made to the UMMC Children’s hospital or to Pinelake Church. Rick was born in Chongqing, China on April 30, 1945, and raised with his three siblings in Taipei, Taiwan. Rick grew up playing soccer and ping pong, and enjoyed gardening and raising birds as pets. He loved sports, fishing, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. With a deep love for nature, Rick pursued a lifelong career in science and research. Rick earned a BA degree in Biology at Fu Jen Catholic University (Taipei), a Master’s degree in Marine Biology at Duke University, a PhD in Neuroanatomy from Vanderbilt (advisor: Jon Kaas, PhD), and he completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia in Neurophysiology (mentor: Murray Sherman, PhD). Professor Lin was a distinguished member of the University of Mississippi Medical Center Department of Neurobiology & Anatomical Sciences with secondary appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, and Pediatrics. Before joining the faculty of UMMC in 1999, Rick worked at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Duke and Drexel University. Dr. Lin’s international reputation as a renowned scientist grew from his passion to help others, and his natural instinct to ask questions and solve problems. His keen mind, technical expertise, and ability to relate to all people made him a treasured asset to the scientific community and a well-respected, much loved friend and colleague. Because his research interests spanned a variety of neural systems, Rick was especially gifted in integrating information and interpreting brain behavior. In recent years he advanced our understanding of the link between neurotransmitter dysregulation and the underpinnings of autism spectrum disorder. Rick was an outstanding leader in his field of research and received numerous professional accolades. He had an impressive publication record and consistently obtained extramural funding. He was among only a handful of investigators to receive the highly prestigious EUREKA grant for “Exceptional Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration”. He reviewed grants for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and edited the top selling book, “New Concepts in Cerebral Ischemia”. He also served as an associate editor for the Anatomical Record and most recently was the driving force in the establishment of the UMMC Center for Developmental Disorders Research (CDDR), serving as Executive Director. Over his years at UMMC, Rick taught neurobiology to countless medical students and provided training and mentorship to graduate students in both the PhD Program in Anatomy, and the PhD Program in Neuroscience. He was dedicated to academic excellence and fostering a love for knowledge. Many students will remember him for his user-friendly descriptions of the brain, drawings of nervous system pathways, and his famous rendition of the “YMCA” dance to depict the organization of the auditory system. And many will cherish his positive, encouraging attitude and his inspirational motto “just go there, and do it!” He was decorated for his teaching and research achievements, receiving the 2014 M2 Professor of the Year Award and faculty research honors. His commitment to improving the health, wellness and education of “the kids” continues to motivate all whose lives have been touched by this gentle giant with a servant heart. He was undeniably special. Rick leaves behind his sons, Philip Lin and Edward Lin (wife Jennifer), siblings, Tony Chien (wife Anna), Grace Feng Hsu, and Mike Lin, grandchildren Sam and Hugo Matterlin, and many other dear friends and colleagues. Proceeding him in death were his father Chung Lin, mother Yun Chien Lin, and sister-in-law Allison Lin.