Stanley Crain

Obituary of Stanley Crain

Stanley M. Crain, 95, of State College, PA, passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 11, 2018, in the Elmcroft Senior Living Community. 


Stanley was born in Brooklyn, NY to Reuben and Bertha Cohen on February 5, 1923. He rapidly progressed through school, graduating from City College in NYC while still a teenager.  Stanley immediately went to work on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago as part of the secret team to develop the atomic bomb.  Upon discharge, Stanley was awarded a certificate by the Secretary of War honoring him for his assistance in ending WWII.  After the war, Stanley earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Columbia University where he continued his groundbreaking neuroscience research.


Stanley went into private industry as Section Head of Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, but returned to his research and teaching at Columbia after four years.  Since 1965, he was Professor of Neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, most recently as Professor Emeritus.  Stanley’s passionate dedication to understanding opioid addiction led to discoveries related to the bimodal nature of opioid receptors, and a novel method to reduce opioid dependence and tolerance.  His 143 publications in prominent journals and 14 patents, as well as numerous awards, honors, grants, and world-wide lectures led to the foundation of Pain Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnological company dedicated to translating his laboratory discoveries into pharmaceutical drugs for opioid addiction.  Stanley also went on to establish Pondera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., focused on developing nutraceutical products based on his discoveries regarding endorphins.


Stanley is survived by his loving wife, Bea, with whom he has been married for nearly 72 years, as well as his two sons, Steven and his wife, Victoria, and Michael and his wife, Beth, and three grand-children, Joshua, Jonathan, and Matthew.  While an internationally recognized neuroscientist and inventor, Stanley also was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, often taking the family on trips around the world.  A few days after 9/11, Stanley and Bea moved from their home in Leonia, NJ where the family lived for over 50 years to join Steven and his family in State College.  Stanley became the primary caretaker of Bea in the home they designed and built for their retirement, until they moved to Elmcroft in January.  Bea, 93, continues to reside at Elmcroft surrounded by her loving family and friends.


An informal Celebration of Life gathering will be held at their home in State College.  For more information about this event, contact Steven at 814-769-1980.


Memorial donations may be made to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an organization which provided extensive support for Stanley’s research. Please send donation with a cover letter to:


            National Institute on Drug Abuse

            Financial Management Branch

            6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5102 (MSC 9583)

            Bethesda, MD  20892

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Koch Funeral Home for their caring and thoughtful assistance following Stanley’s passing, and all those who have offered their love, condolences, and prayers.



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