Remembering Edward Leong Way

July 10, 1916–June 12, 2017

Edward (Eddie) Leong Way, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy alumnus, UCSF faculty member, and dear friend, died peacefully at home in San Francisco on June 12, 2017, four weeks before his 101st birthday.

Eddie mentored generations of UCSF PhD students and taught scores of pharmacy students during his tenure as a professor in the UCSF School of Medicine, from 1949 to 1978. He was a member of the UCSF emeritus faculty since 1987.

Born in Watsonville, California, in 1916, Way moved with his family to San Francisco in 1924. He studied at what was then called the College of Pharmacy at the University of California—on what is now the UCSF Parnassus Campus in San Francisco—earning his BS in pharmacy in 1938, and his MS and PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1940 and 1942, respectively. This was at a time before the San Francisco campus of the University of California was independent, and before it could grant degrees. As a result, Eddie’s degrees were granted by UC Berkeley. But he was the School’s oldest living alumnus—unofficially.

Edward Leong Way
Bob Day Collection

E. Leong Way (1972)

Eddie’s research career in opioid chemistry was prolific, and he carried a deep concern for the impact of addiction into his advocacy for treatment and legal reform.

The School remembers Eddie for his teaching, science, and advocacy. He will be equally remembered for his friendship to many, and for his wit, magnetic smile, and wholehearted embrace of life.

Robert Day, PharmD, former associate dean, reflected on his long association with Eddie: "Throughout his career, Eddie was intensely devoted to our school and he showed it in his inspired teaching, his participation in its affairs, his routine attendance at its functions (including every Homecoming) and his tireless advocacy over many years, including his attempts at age 90 to establish a joint program with the China Pharmaceutical University. He was a charming, interesting man with a lifetime-long impish sense of humor, as exemplified by his wink-eyed smuggling of a steady stream of drinks and hors d'oeuvres from his first-class seat to Jere Goyan and me, in our steerage-class seats on a 1980s flight from Washington DC. Yes, he will be missed."


About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.