James D. Zieske, PhD, age 65, of Wilmington passed away Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He was the beloved husband of Ellen J. (Boardman) Zieske and together they shared 31 years of marriage. Born in Michigan City, IN he was the son of the late Kenneth and Barbara (Everly) Zieske.
"Jim", as he was affectionately known to his family and friends, was raised Michigan City, Indiana. He completed his undergraduate studies at Rockford College. He went on to earn his PhD in biological chemistry from the University of Michigan where he also completed a research fellowship. He subsequently completed a research cornea fellowship at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear under the mentorship of Ilene K. Gibson, PhD, before joining the Institute as an Assistant Scientist and later rising to Senior Scientist and serving as the Associate Director of Research from 2000 to 2002.
Dr. Zieske was an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and a member of Harvard Ophthalmology's Cornea Center of Excellence and Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute. He was a Senior Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear.
Dr. Zieske's research has helped advance the understanding of the mechanisms involved in corneal wound repair. His laboratory has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles in this area. He will fondly be remembered as a generous educator, mentor and for his participation in the Harvard Medical School "Molecular Bases of Eye Disease Training Program" supervising graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientist. He was also a co-organizer of the Biennial Cornea Conference, the premier global cornea and ocular surface academic research conference.
In his leisure time, Jim enjoyed reading, traveling, camping, playing golf, caring for and spending time with his dogs Kelly and Gracie.
In addition to his beloved wife, Ellen. He is survived by his sisters; Kay Borg and her husband Butch of La Porte, IN, and Jane Isaacs and her husband George of Elburn, IL. He was the loving brother-in-law of Jerry Boardman, Bonnie Boardman, Jane Bronson, Susan Deslauriers, Paul Boardman, Sheila McCarthy, Jim Boardman and the late David Boardman. Cherished uncle of Adam Santos and many more loving nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be conducted in the Dello Russo Family Funeral Home, 374 Main St., WILMINGTON, Wednesday, January 22nd at 10 a.m. followed by a prayer service beginning at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of James "Jim" D. Zieske can be made to the Schepens Eye Research Institute to support Cornea Research. Please make checks payable to Schepens Eye Research Institute and mail to Schepens Eye Research Institute c/o Development Office, 243 Charles St. Boston, MA 02114 or online https://www.masseyeandear.org/online-donation-form, or to the National Kidney Foundation Of MA, RI, NH & VT, 85 Astor Avenue, Suite 2, Norwood, , MA 02062.