Memorial Created By
Dylan Cooke

Dr. Rae Lyn Burke

April 25, 1948 - October 30, 2022

We created this page to share memories and photos of Dr. Rae Lyn Burke. Please share any memory or story, no matter how small. It will be cherished by family and friends.

Rae Lyn Burke, an eminent San Francisco Bay Area virologist, passed away October 30th after more than fourteen years of early-onset Alzheimer's. Her accomplishments in the fields of infectious diseases and vaccine development still have a powerful impact, even a decade and a half after the progression of her disease forced her to retire from the work she loved. The daughter of two schoolteachers, Rae Lyn spent most of her childhood...  see more
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Posts & Photos

  • Dylan Cooke
    From Dustin Conrad

    Most of my memories with Aunt Rae Lyn were with Dylan and I together. But one time i was out in SF visiting and Dylan was not here. So i was hanging out with Rae Lyn. And i was telling her a story of how some one back in my home...  more
  • Dylan Cooke
    From Michael & Nelle Cronen

    My wife, Nelle Cronen worked for Rae Lyn at Chiron. I remember the Wine Club and one time Nelle and I and our sons Kennan anf Julian got to stay at the Lake Tahoe cabin Rae Lyn shared with Gary. I thought it was so...  more
  • Dylan Cooke
    From Agnes B

    I remember Rae Lyn to be the kindest and sweetest human being I’ve ever known. I have so many fun memories of her especially our trip to the Philippines. She never complains of the terrible traffic in Manila and haven’t heard any...  more
  • Dylan Cooke
    From Patricia Caldera and Peter Walter

    We remember many fun times with Rae Lyn, Reg, and the kids - ranging from numerous dinners, parties, and times in their charming cabin at Lake Tahoe. There's lots of non-stop action with kids, from treasure...  more
  • Dylan Cooke
    Ann Cleves Jain

    My name is Ann Cleves Jain. I was a postdoc in Reg’s lab from 1992-1997. When I arrived in San Francisco, my belongings were in transit, so rather than have me sleep in my empty apartment on Belvedere Street, Reg and Rae Lyn graciously...  more
  • Dylan Cooke
    From Linda Cooke

    I knew Rae Lyn all the while she was married to my cousin Roger Cooke and after. She taught me how to be a professional woman--and how to fake it. This stood me in good stead all the while I was in grad school, searching for a position...  more
  • Malcolm Gissen
    When I met Rae Lyn at one of Joanie and Robert’s excellent parties in the 1980’s, I was relatively new in California and she did not strike me as a California gal. I am known to ask a lot of questions – I used to be a litigator – and to get a lot...  more
  • Steve Rosenberg
    I first met Rae Lyn, or the indomitable RLB, indirectly as her first husband, Dave Burke, was a post-doc at UC Berkeley in the late 1970s when I was there. Our paths crossed more directly at Chiron in 1981, where she was employee 6 and I, 13. ...  more
  • Trishna Horvath
    I met Rae Lyn in early 2012.
    I had responded to an ad that Dylan put on Craigslist, looking for a personal assistant for her mom. This was 4 to 5 years into her Altzheimers diagnosis..
    It is an odd thing, interviewing to be someone's right hand, extra...  more
  • bruce alberts
    Starting as an organic chemist, but then earning a PhD in microbiology, Rae Lynn next sought to master enzymology -- wanting to work with me in 1976 at UCSF on the mysteries of eukaryotic DNA replication. Fortunately, I convinced her to start with a...  more
  • Karen (Perot) Shaff
    I was honored to know and work with Rae Lyn Burke at Chiron during the late 80's and most of 1990s. She was an inspiration to me, strong and confident in her scientific knowledge and mentorship qualities.

    Working with Rae Lyn was my most treasured...  more
  • Joan Cooke
    Rae Lyn Burke Memories
    January 2023

    I distinctly remember the first time I met Rae Lyn. We were invited to a party at Roger’s house, and Rae Lyn came to the door, slightly out of breath, laughing and joyous. I saw this facet of her so many times....  more
  • Catherine Jackson Moynihan
    My warm recollections of Rae Lyn are from our (extended) family's annual gatherings at the beach. A standout memory can be viewed through the lens of a video camera. Rae Lyn was recording young Dylan, going off into the surf on a Hobie Cat (small,...  more
  • Dylan Cooke
    From Tim Formosa:

    As a new graduate student in the Alberts lab in 1980, I shared a bay with Rae Lyn, so she was my first lab mentor. One day I answered the phone in the lab and it was one of our chief competitors in the T4 DNA replication field asking...  more
  • Karen Cooke
    I did not know the Rae Lyn Burke who had an eminent career as a virologist. But I was, briefly, her sister-in-law, when she was married to Roger Cooke. I remember her delight in bringing her ten-day-old baby girl to the annual beach gathering in...  more
  • Ula Hibner
    We all know that the “chemistry of love” exists. It is wonderful, but in fact quite trivial; in most human societies, love provides an evolutionary advantage to the species. I believe that the chemistry of friendship is even more amazing. More than a...  more
  • Dylan Cooke
    From Parker and Tilly Maddux

    Rae Lyn came to visit us in Colorado and we hiked to the Mable Mine in the small town of Marble. It was quite a feat as we had to climb up a rope to get to the top of the mine so we could look down thru the opening into the...  more
  • Jim Mckerrow
    I met Rae Lyn at SUNY Stony Brook when she was a grad student in a chemistry lab. Her husband (the Burke) was a grad student in the same
    department(Biology) as my first wife. We all became good friends. Rae Lyn told us stories about being a Motorcycle...  more