Philip F. Hirsch died peacefully on February 4, 2017 in Chapel Hill, NC, at the age of 91. Dr. Hirsch was born in California and spent much of his early life in the San Francisco Bay Area. He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II and was part of the 27th Infantry Division Band. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with a degree in Chemistry. After he was awarded a Ph.D. in Physiology, Dr. Hirsch became an Associate Professor at Harvard University. Dr. Hirsch worked at the Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laboratory before coming to UNC-Chapel Hill in 1966 as a Professor of Pharmacology. In 1975 he became the Director of the Dental Research Center in the UNC School of Dentistry, a position he held until 1983. In 1992 he retired and was named Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology and Dental Ecology.The focus of Dr. Hirsch’s research throughout his career was hormonal control in the metabolism of calcium. As part of a research team at Harvard, he discovered the hormone calcitonin. Dr. Hirsch continued to research the function of calcitonin for the rest of his life.Dr. Hirsch is survived by his spouse of 60 years, Eugenia I. Hirsch; children, Steven P. Hirsch (Beth Blevins), of Ashton, MD; Lisa Hirsch, of Miami, FL; Kenneth Hirsch (Marion), of Chapel Hill, NC; Nancy Hirsch (Terence Ford), of Colorado Springs, CO; and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Leo Hirsch, of San Francisco, CA; and Martin Hirsch, of Los Angeles, CA.Condolences can be sent to Eugenia Hirsch c/o Carolina Meadows, 100 Carolina Meadows, Chapel Hill, NC 27517. Donations in his honor may be sent to: Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (110 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC 27510). The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Carolina Meadows.
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