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by Linda Raber
January 12, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 2

Lisa A. Benkowski, 36, laboratory development director for the Carolina Computing Initiative at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, died on Nov. 7, 2003, of complications from colon cancer. Benkowski was born in Racine, Wis. She graduated from St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wis., with a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1989 and went on to earn a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1993. She completed her postdoctoral research at UNC under Linda L. Spremulli. At UNC, she was involved in chemistry education and laboratory curriculum development. She is survived by her husband and two daughters.

Martin Flavin, 83, a biochemist at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., died on Sept. 29, 2003, from complications related to Shy-Drager syndrome.

Flavin served in the Public Health Service from 1951 to 1954, first at the National Cancer Institute and then at the National Heart Institute in the laboratory of Christian B. Anfinsen. He then spent two years at New York University with Severo Ochoa and a year in the department of agricultural biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, before returning to the heart institute in 1957, where he worked for the remainder of his career.

Flavin made important contributions to the understanding of the intermediary metabolism of amino acids and the regulation of microtubules. He retired in 1988 as chief of the section on organelle biochemistry of the Laboratory of Cell Biology but continued his research as a special volunteer for another 10 years. He is survived by his brother and two nephews.


Norman A. LeBel, 72, professor emeritus of chemistry at Wayne State University, Detroit, died of a respiratory illness on Dec. 21, 2003.

LeBel received an A.B. degree in chemistry from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, in 1952. He spent the next two years in the research laboratories of Merck & Co. before returning to New England, where he pursued his Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Arthur C. Cope. After receiving a doctorate in 1957, LeBel moved to Detroit, where he taught at Wayne State for nearly 40 years. He retired in 1996, after serving as chairman of the organic chemistry department; as chief of staff for the office of the provost; and, in the 1980s, as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

LeBel served the American Chemical Society in a number of roles, starting as the Awards Committee chairman of the Detroit Section (1961–62), then secretary-treasurer of the Division of Organic Chemistry (1965–69). He was a division councilor for 20 years, starting in 1970, and served on the Committees on Publications, Nominations & Elections, Divisional Activities, and Committees. He was general chairman of Pacifichem 2000.

LeBel received the Wayne State University President's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1981, the ACS Organic Chemistry Division's Paul G. Gassman Distinguished Service Award in 1996, and the ACS Santa Clara Valley Section's Shirley B. Radding Award in 2001.

Survivors include his wife, Connie; two sons; a daughter; two sisters; and three grandchildren. Joined ACS in 1951; emeritus member.


Rex E. Shepherd, professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, died on Sept. 15, 2003, after suffering a heart attack. He was 57.

Born in Greenville, Ohio, he earned a B.S. in chemistry from Purdue University in 1967, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Stanford University. After completing his Ph.D. in 1971, under the guidance of Henry Taube, Shepherd held postdocs at Yale University and the State University of New York, Buffalo. He was a visiting professor at Purdue before moving to Pitt in 1975.

Shepherd was known within Pitt's chemistry department for his dedication to his students. He had a true open-door policy and often spent hours answering questions from his lectures. In addition to teaching inorganic chemistry to graduate and undergraduate students, Shepherd was active in the teaching of general chemistry. Literally thousands of students had their first exposure to college chemistry in his lectures.

He was also a dedicated scholar, contributing, in conjunction with his students and collaborators, to nearly 200 articles. And Shepherd was a careful and meticulous reviewer of other chemists' articles and grants. He believed deeply in the need to critique young researchers' submissions with care so that they could learn from the process.

Shepherd's research focused on the preparation and characterization of inorganic transition-metal complexes that can serve as medicinal drugs or as models for metal-ion-activated biochemical systems. He and his group synthesized iron and ruthenium nitric oxide scavengers to combat toxic shock in humans and ruthenium NO carriers as antitumor agents. Shepherd was also involved in designing and preparing enzyme inhibitors based on Ru, Cu, Pt, and Pd.

He was a member of the editorial board of Bioinorganic Chemistry & Applications and Inorganic Chimica Acta.

He is survived by a sister. Joined ACS in 1968.


Arthur D. Tevebaugh, a chemist retired from Argonne National Laboratory, died on Dec. 15, 2003. He was 86.


Born in Monroe City, Ind., Tevebaugh earned his B.S. degree in soil science and biochemistry from Purdue University in 1940. He started work on his Ph.D. in physical chemistry and theoretical physics at Iowa State University later that year.

While a graduate student, Tevebaugh worked on the Manhattan Project, contributing to the separation and characterization of fission products of uranium and to the development of ion-exchange methods to separate rare-earth elements.

After receiving his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State in 1947, Tevebaugh moved to General Electric's Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, N.Y. There, he helped design reactors for nuclear submarines and evaluate their safety. Later, while at the nearby GE Central Research Laboratory, Tevebaugh contributed to the design of hydrogen fuel cells for use in the space program.

In 1963, he relocated to Argonne National Laboratory, where he held several upper-level management positions including director of long-range research programs and planning and director of the lab's fossil fuel and solar energy programs. He retired from Argonne in 1981.

Friends and family will remember Tevebaugh for his legendary sweet tooth and his generous heart. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; two daughters; and five grandchildren. Joined ACS in 1961; emeritus member.


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