Marcel Bruchez
Marcel Bruchez
Marcel Bruchez

Celebration of Life

2:30 pm
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Simmons Auditorium in the Tepper Quad
4765 Forbes Ave,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Obituary of Marcel Bruchez

Please share a memory of Marcel to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

Dr. Marcel P. Bruchez, Jr left us peacefully on August 27th, 2022, at the age of 48, surrounded by family and friends at his home in Edgewood. He is survived by his beloved wife and dearest friend, Julie, his child, Leo, his mother, Dorothy Bruchez (Dotty), and his siblings, Reuben, Anna, and Jeffrey. Marcel was predeceased by his father, Marcel Bruchez, Sr, who also died too young, succumbing to lung cancer in 1997 at the age of 48 during Marcel's first year of graduate school. This painful loss heavily influenced Marcel's research focus throughout his life, and is one reason for the many advancements in biotech and imaging that he achieved during his lifetime.


Marcel was a Professor of Biological Sciences and Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also directed the Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center. He was a kind and dedicated mentor to his students and a highly respected and beloved colleague to his faculty peers. Although he dreamed big, he spent his life making chemical tools that illuminated the smallest aspects of biology, revealing processes on the molecular level. Marcel's many innovations led him to be inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2022. Though his numerous scientific inventions earned him countless honors and accolades, when asked recently which invention he was most proud of, he responded with his characteristic combination of quick wit and sincerity that his best invention was his deeply cherished Leo Bruchez.


Marcel had a profound love of the natural world and devoted many hours and thousands of miles cycling the wonderful trails throughout western Pennsylvania, especially those between his home and office. As with everything else he undertook, Marcel attained a level of excellence achieved by few, even completing the incredibly challenging off-road ride from Telluride to Moab shortly after being diagnosed, having surgery, and starting treatment for his cancer. Even so, he was always willing to slow down enough for his less athletic friends to keep up with him. He continued to cycle up until the last few months of his life.


Marcel lived life with a uniquely strong will and determination. He applied this same tenacity to his fight with incurable brain cancer, extending his life well beyond conventional expectations so that he could maximize time spent with his loved ones and continue to make contributions to science. Even up to the week before he left us, he continued to collaborate with his colleagues on projects. However, his dedication to the advancement of human knowledge never eclipsed his love for his family and friends, as was attested by the many people who came to see him from all over the world during the last months of his life. He was the kindest, most loyal, and most honorable of men.


To honor Marcel’s memory, we are holding a celebration on October 1, 2022 at 2:30 PM in the Simmons Auditorium in the Tepper Quad. RSVP to  In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to offer a remembrance: in writing, a photograph or short video. Marcel’s only request of his many friends was that they should share stories about him with Leo, so we will be compiling the submissions to prepare as a keepsake for Leo. Submissions can be mailed to his home or emailed to  If you’d like to make a donation (monetary or volunteering) to honor his life, we suggest donating to Trail Pittsburgh ( the non-profit that helps maintain the mountain biking trails in Frick Park that Marcel would get “lost” on during his commute. 

Arrangements entrusted to the Thomas L. Nied Funeral Home 7441 Washington Street, Swissvale.

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