Dr. Henry R. Besch, Jr., longtime resident of Indianapolis, was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1942. He lived in Texas until 1958, when he moved with his family to Columbus, Ohio. Besch earned a B.S., in Physiology and Chemistry in 1964 and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Biophysics in 1967 from Ohio State University. Postdoctoral positions included Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London, UK.
Six years after Besch began his employment with the Indiana University School of Medicine, he became Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology. He served in that department for 25 years. He received the title of Showalter Professor of Pharmacology in 1980. Besch held memberships in a number of national and international biomedical associations and societies, and he lectured throughout the world. Dr. Besch was passionate about his research and had a special gift for mentoring his students.