Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, Clarence Fuerst became the first member of his rural community to attend university. He excelled academically, receiving both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from the University of Alberta, and a Ph.D in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Following the completion of his doctorate, Clarence was awarded a Fellowship to the Pasteur Institute at Paris, France, where he worked from 1955 to 1957.
Clarence Fuerst remained ever grateful to the Canadian academic community for the scholarship funds that had permitted him to pursue his education, and so, on the completion of his Fellowship, he elected to return to Canada. He worked as a Molecular Geneticist at the Ontario Cancer Institute (Princess Margaret Hospital) and became a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. Honesty, integrity and the pursuit of excellence were the values that guided Clarence’s life and work at the University of Toronto.
In the Department of Medical Genetics, University of Toronto, Clarence was a dedicated teacher and mentor to undergraduate students. He was a major contributor to both lecture and lab course instruction, and to curriculum development in the fields of molecular biology and genetics.