He is survived by his beloved parents, Ben Lipschitz and Marjory Bessen, brother Robert (Amy) Bessen, and sister Debra (George Johnson) Bessen.
Richard was an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology. Bessen was a remarkable human being and an outstanding, highly respected scientist with the CSU Prion Research Center. He joined the center’s faculty in spring 2012. The Bessen Laboratory has investigated several aspects of prion diseases, including the molecular basis of prion strain diversity; the role of cranial nerves in prion neuroinvasion and prion exit from mucosal surfaces; the mechanism of prion transport in the nervous system, particularly along axons and transynaptic spread; and the cellular basis of prion-induced endocrinopathies in chronic wasting disease.
His colleagues miss Bessen deeply, said Glenn Telling, director of the Prion Research Center.
Services were held Sunday, June 5, at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel, 11115 Jog Road, Boynton Beach, Fla., with interment at Eternal Light Memorial Gardens, Boynton Beach.
Those wishing to make a contribution are asked to consider Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer, 1111 Stewart Avenue, Bethpage, New York, 11714.