The faculty, staff and students of the Microbiology Program are mourning the loss of one of its most talented and admired undergraduates. Vyacheslav “Slav” Yanyuk passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on December 11, 2013. Slav was a Commonwealth College senior in the class of 2014 and a member of Klaus Nusslein’s Laboratory. Together with Sam Estabrooks, Slav was working on a project testing synthetic antibacterial peptides in a joint venture with Greg Tew’s lab in Polymer Chemistry.
Slav was incredibly well liked and highly respected by his peers as well as all of the faculty who had the opportunity to work with him. Faculty described him as a “wonderful, intelligent person with so much potential”. Others spoke of his charismatic nature, his highly respectful manner and the quality of his work. To his friends in Microbiology, he was kind, thoughtful and loyal, a “beacon of light and friendship”. Always willing to help others, he reached out to many in his time here as an undergraduate. He had an incredible work ethic, an impressive academic record and dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon. His service to the community as a volunteer in the Amherst Fire Department, Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department, helping those in the community who needed assistance and donating blood on a regular basis were just some of the ways that Slav made an impact on those around him.
Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to those who survive him. These are his loving parents Alla and Aleksandr Yanyuk, his loving brothers and sisters; Eduard Yanyuk and his wife Anastasia of Chicopee, Sergey Yanyuk of Chicopee, Tatyana Cherenov of Chicopee, Jennifer Martynyuk and her husband Artem of Springfield, and Ines Yanyuk of Chicopee, his beloved girlfriend Sandra Rumyantsev and his grandparents Yefrem and Stefanida Doroshenko, and Vasiliy and Ludmila Yanyuk.
A memorial gathering for students and faculty is being planned for February 27, 2014.
Department of Microbiology