Obituaries | June 9, 2008 Issue - Vol. 86 Issue 23 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 23 | p. 52 | Obituaries
Issue Date: June 9, 2008


Department: ACS News

Richard (Rich) Abrams, 90, professor emeritus in the University of Pittsburgh's department of biological sciences, died in Pittsburgh on Jan. 28.

Born in Chicago, Abrams received a B.S. in 1938 and Ph.D. in 1941, both in chemistry, from the University of Chicago. From 1941 to 1942, he was a research instructor in the chemistry department there.

In 1942, he left the university after accepting a position as a group leader in the biology division for the Manhattan Project. He returned to the University of Chicago in 1946 as an assistant professor at the Institute of Radiobiology & Biophysics.

In 1951, Abrams moved to Pittsburgh to become associate director of the Montefiore Hospital Institute of Research, later serving as its director from 1958 to 1965. Concurrently, he held professorial appointments in the department of biochemistry and nutrition within the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH).

In 1965, he left Montefiore to become professor and chairman of the GSPH department of biochemistry and nutrition. He continued in the role of chairman until 1972. He retired from the department (which became part of the department of biological sciences in 1976) in 1984.

Throughout his career, Abrams authored or coauthored approximately 70 papers, most of them on the subject of nucleic acids. At the national level, he was a member of the National Institutes of Health Molecular Biology Study Section beginning in 1966, serving as its chairman in 1970-71. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1945.

He is survived by four children. His wife, Thelma, predeceased him.


Edward D. Goldberg, 86, a celebrated marine chemist who spent his entire career at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, died on March 7 at his home in Olivenhain, Calif., after a prolonged illness.

Born in Sacramento, Goldberg received a B.S. degree in chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1942 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1949. During World War II, he served as a naval officer in the Pacific Theater.

Goldberg conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago under Harrison Brown, who sparked his interest in geochemistry, meteoritics, and the complex environmental problems facing the world.

Brown helped Goldberg land a position at Scripps Oceanography as a geochemist. Throughout his career, Goldberg focused on the geochemistry of natural waters and sediments, the demography of the coastal zone, and the history of waste management and marine pollution.

Most notably, Goldberg identified tributyltin as a toxic chemical in marine paint that was fouling California harbors and created the 1975 Environmental Protection Agency-sponsored Mussel Watch Program to observe U.S. coastal marine pollution.

Goldberg wrote more than 225 articles and numerous books on marine chemistry and human impact on the oceans.

Goldberg received many honors and awards, including the initial Bostwick H. Ketchum Award from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1984, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement from the University of Southern California in 1989 together with Nobel Laureate Paul J. Crutzen, and the first-ever Ruth Patrick Award for Environmental Problem Solving in the Aquatic Sciences from the American Society of Limnology & Oceanography in 1999.

Goldberg was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He joined ACS in 1990.

Goldberg is survived by his wife, Kathe; four children; and three grandchildren.


Siddugari (Sid) Kalachandra, 68, a University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, professor, died on March 14 due to complications from surgery.

Born in Venkatagiri, Andhra Pradesh, India, Kalachandra received a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from the University of Madras in 1970.

Kalachandra then taught for eight years at Madras Christian College before moving to the U.S. After appointments at the University of West Virginia; the University of Texas, Austin; and the University of Florida, he moved to UNC Chapel Hill in 1984. There, he worked in the Dental Research Center on the synthesis and characterization of dental materials. He was a research professor in the department of periodontology at the time of his death. Most recently, he studied the controlled release of drugs in the oral cavity, primarily to help HIV/AIDS patients cope with infections.

While at UNC, Kalachandra had also held a position as a full-time research professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University from 1992 to 2000.

He was a visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, from 1996 to 2002. He was a member of ACS, joining in 1981.

Kalachandra was preceded in death by his wife, Renuka Devi. He is survived by his son, Krishna Kishor.

George H. Milly, 87, chemist, meteorologist, and entrepreneur, died from an intracranial hemorrhage on Feb. 21 at a hospital near his home in Adamstown, Md.

Born in Petersburg, Va., he earned a B.S. in chemistry in 1940 from Niagara University. In the early 1940s, he pursued graduate study in chemistry at De Paul University and in meteorology at the University of Chicago while working as a chemist for Armour in Chicago.

From 1942 to 1946, he served in the Air Corps, studying meteorology and then training personnel in the armed services. At the same time, he began laying the groundwork for Army research on atmospheric dispersion of chemical-biological warfare agents. From 1945 to 1962, he was a founder and leader of the U.S. Army’s Operations Research Group at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland.

In 1961, he earned a Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Michigan. He then served as vice president at Travelers Research Center, conducting environmental pollution studies.

In 1967, Milly founded the environmental services company Geomet (now Geomet Technologies), retiring in 1986. He did consulting work in environmental research and mining exploration until his death. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1946.

Milly is survived by his wife of 65 years, Georgia; six children; and nine grandchildren.


Obituaries are written by Susan J. Ainsworth. Obituary notices may be sent to and should include a detailed educational and professional history.

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