August 2023

Lawrence A. Trissel

June 2, 1946
August 11, 2023

Ponte Vedra

Lawrence A. Trissel

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Lawrence A. Trissel, pioneer in pharmaceutics research and renowned author, dedicated father and husband died August 11th, 2023, in hospice surrounded by his family, after battling glioblastoma for more than 2 years. He was 77 years old.  He is survived by his devoted and beloved wife of 52 years, Pamela (Wade) Trissel; their loving daughter, Cyndi Trissel; his sister, Marcia (Michael) Conley; and his mother, Frances Lucille (Hannaford) Trissel, who celebrates her 101st birthday this year. He was preceded in death by his father Lawrence Emory Trissel. His extended family in Arizona and Pennsylvania includes numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Lawrence, or “Larry” to his friends and loved ones, was born June 2, 1946, in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was raised by his father, an award-winning abstract and watercolor artist, who also worked in advertising, and his mother, Lucy Trissel, an artist in her own right.

Larry began his career by studying pharmacy at Butler University in Indianapolis, receiving his bachelor’s degree. He joined the U.S. Public Health Service as a Commissioned Officer and completed his pharmacy residency in New Orleans. He spent the following years practicing pharmacy in the metro Washington D.C. area where he worked at the FDA, The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). As part of his work at NIH he did investigational drug research to support clinical trials when the AIDS crisis hit in the 1980s. He was part of an NCI team that developed more than 125 investigational anti-cancer drugs for federally supported clinical trials. In 1989, he left the PHS to join the Division of Pharmacy at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He remained at the cancer center until 2006, when he retired as Director of Clinical Pharmaceutics Research, Division of Pharmacy, where he mentored many pharmacy students through his research lab. Throughout his career, he served on and chaired many respected pharmaceutical boards in Maryland, Texas and Indiana. His professional awards and honors include the U.S. Public Health Service Commendation Medal (1979), Hazardous Duty Service Ribbon, Special Assignment Service Ribbon (1982), Citation Medal (1988) and the American Pharmacists Association Distinguished Achievement Award In Hospital and Institutional Practice (2002). He was awarded the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Lifetime Achievement Award (2011). He was named an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Fellow in 1988 and was awarded an honorary ASHP lifetime membership in 2011. He received the ASHP Foundation Award for Sustained Contributions to Published Literature in 1996.

Over the course of his life, Larry researched and authored 17 editions of The Handbook on Injectable Drugs, with ASHP. ‘Trissel’s Handbook’  as it’s known in hospital pharmacies worldwide, is perhaps the best-known of the more than 200 books and journal articles he penned throughout his career. His other notable publications include the textbooks Stability of Compounded Formulations, Calcium and Phosphate Compatibility in Parenteral Nutrition, Stability-Indicating HPLC Methods for Drug Analysis, and Trissel’s Tables of Physical Compatibility. He also created Trissel’s 2 Clinical Pharmaceutics Database, which was described as the most complete electronic database of its kind.

In recent years Larry spent time in both northeast Florida, and the mountains of North Carolina.  He loved animals, especially cats, and he was a generous supporter of many cat rescue organizations. Over the years he adopted many cats, who almost always “helped” him in his office, by sitting on the back of his office chair, or relaxing on the extensive research paperwork spread around his desk. Orange tabbies were his favorites. He had a real appreciation for a quality screened-in porch, and one of his favorite things to do, wherever he lived, was to relax and listen to a thunderstorm roll in. He always appreciated a superior gin and tonic, a crisp and flavorful fried shrimp, a fluffy biscuit in rich gravy, a tangy brisket sandwich, a moist and rich carrot cake, and a tasty handful of spiced nuts. His one culinary expertise was making cheesy scrambled eggs for breakfast. Larry was an avid reader who loved good science fiction novels and historical novels, the latter which he and his mother often discussed at length during weekly Saturday phone calls. He was a licensed light aircraft pilot, and took short trips to destinations in the northeast. He enjoyed outdoor pursuits, including kayaking, birdwatching, outdoor concerts, and hiking, in his early years, both in the metropolitan DC area and later in the North Carolina mountains. Over the years he and his wife traveled extensively exploring many destinations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Balkans, Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska. Sometimes his daughter Cyndi tagged along. One of his achievements was to visit every state in the union, completing that feat with Nebraska in 2019.

He will be remembered as a pioneer of pharmaceutical research and an author who fought for the importance of drug compatibility research. His book has been used as a reference guide and industry standard; every hospital pharmacy with an IV service having one in their library. Its existence will continue to help millions around the globe for generations to come. His friends and family are all so grateful for him and love him dearly. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and many who may not know him personally, but who benefitted from his tireless pharmaceutical research.

A celebration of life will be planned for a future date.

In honor of Larry’s life, remembrances can be made to his favorite charities:

Cashiers Highlands Humane society -  https://chhumanesociety.org/

Jacksonville Humane Society - https://jaxhumane.org/donate/

Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry - https://www.lssjax.org/