By any measure, Candace, who passed away recently at age 67 was a great scientist.
It was she who laid the foundation for the discovery of endorphins, the body's own pain relievers and pleasure producers.
It was she who made a major scientific breakthrough by being the first one to identify the opiate receptor in the brain, a discovery which opened a whole new field of biochemistry study.
Dr. Candace Pert
It was she who advanced the understanding of opiate addiction in the treatment of addicts, opiate addiction being one of the most common addictions throughout the world.
It was she who isolated the brain receptors for Valium and PCP (Angel Dust), essential in treating drug addiction.
And it was she, who with her second husband Dr. Michael Ruff and another of their colleagues, formed Rapid Pharmaceuticals to create potential treatments for Alzheimer's, autism and cardiovascular diseases.
Yet despite those lofty accomplishments, it all started so simply.
In 1966, Candace Beebe was a 20 year old student at Hofstra University, when she married Agu Pert and dropped out of school, for she and Agu moved to Philadelphia so he could pursue his doctorate at Bryn Mawr College.
After their son was born, Candace was a busy mother and to help pay the bills, she took a job as a cocktail waitress. It appeared her academic career was over.
But one of her cocktail customers was an assistant dean at Bryn Mawr and he saw how strong her interest in science was, and encouraged her to enroll at Bryn Mawr.
With his help, and that of her husband who shared in the parenting responsibilities, she enrolled at Bryn Mawr and in 1970, Candace earned her bachelor's degree in biology.
Subsequently, Candace received her Ph.D. at the prestigious Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, becoming Dr. Candace Pert, as she earned her doctorate in pharmacology.
Yet even as a student, through her remarkable scientific research, Candace was already becoming a science superstar.
During her career, as a prolific author, she wrote two bestselling books, and published in excess of 250 scientific papers.
Candace is survived by her family and survived as well by vast numbers of patients all over the world with a wide variety of addictions and other diseases, even if they don't know her name or of her extraordinary work to help them.