Issue Date: July 28, 2008
Howard L. Bachrach, 88, a biochemist and National Medal of Science recipient, died of heart disease on June 26 in Atlantis, Fla.
Born in Faribault, Minn., Bachrach received a B.A. in chemistry in 1942 from the University of Minnesota. During World War II, he joined the Office of Scientific Research & Development at Carnegie Institute of Technology, in Pittsburgh, working to improve military explosives as part of the Manhattan Project.
In 1949, Bachrach earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. The following year, he joined the Department of Agriculture, and while on assignment in Denmark, he first isolated the virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease.
Upon returning to the U.S., he accepted a position at the Virus Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. There, Bachrach first purified the poliomyelitis virus, which led to the development of the polio vaccine by Jonas Salk.
In 1953, Bachrach accepted a position at the Chemical & Physical Investigations Section of USDA’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center, in Greenport, N.Y. He was chief scientist there from 1961 until his retirement in 1981. During that time, he played a leading role in producing a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine, the first genetically engineered vaccine for use in animals or humans.
He received the National Medal of Science in 1983 from President Ronald Reagan “for his pioneering research in molecular virology and his collaborative role in the use of gene splicing to produce the first effective protein vaccine for use in animals or humans.”
Bachrach received other honors including the Alexander von Humboldt Award and the American Association for the Advancement of Science-Newcomb Cleveland Prize. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1982 and inducted into the USDA Agricutural Research Service Hall of Fame in 1987. An emeritus member of ACS, he joined in 1947. He was the author of more than 150 publications in scientific journals.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Shirley; a daughter, Eve; a son, Harrison; and a grandson.
Stanley J. Cristol, 91, Joseph Sewell Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, died at his home in Durango, Colo., on Jan. 23.
Born in Chicago, Cristol earned a B.S. degree from Northwestern University in 1937 and one of the first Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1943. Under the direction of William Young, Cristol focused his doctoral research on the stereochemistry of iodide-ion-promoted eliminations of dibromides, thereby sparking his career-long interest in elimination reactions and their mechanisms.
After conducting postdoctoral research for a year under Roger Adams at the University of Illinois, Cristol worked briefly at the Department of Agriculture, studying the halogenated insecticides DDT and Lindane.
He joined the University of Colorado in 1946 as an assistant professor and played a key role in the development of the university and its chemistry department, now known as the department of chemistry and biochemistry. Throughout his 40-year career there, he served as department chair, acting dean of the graduate school, and acting associate vice chancellor for graduate affairs. In 1979, he was appointed to the rank of distinguished professor. He retired in 1986.
Cristol contributed to many areas of physical organic chemistry, including solvolysis reactions, free-radical chemistry, small-ring chemistry, and polycyclic chemistry. His name is associated with the Cristol-Firth modification of the Hunsdiecker reaction. Later in his career, Cristol focused his research on organic photochemistry.
In 1972, Cristol received the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. He was an emeritus ACS member, joining in 1941. He was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
In recognition of Cristol’s research, teaching, and service, the University of Colorado awarded him the Stearns Award and the University of Colorado Medal. It also renamed its chemistry and biochemistry building after Cristol in 1994; a lecture series in physical organic chemistry also bears his name. The Cristol family has endowed a research fund at the university that assists graduate students and their faculty mentors in chemistry and biochemistry with Ph.D. thesis research expenses.
Cristol is survived by his wife of 50 years, Barbara; five children; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
R. Bruce LeBlanc, 83, an accomplished textile chemist, died on May 6 at his home in Mandeville, La.
A native of Alexandria, La., he served as a naval officer during World War II. After receiving a B.S. in chemistry from Loyola University in 1947, LeBlanc earned an M.S. in 1949 and a Ph.D. in 1950, both in chemistry from Tulane University, in New Orleans.
LeBlanc began his career as assistant professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University. Then in 1952, he joined Dow Chemical in Freeport, Texas, serving first as group leader in research and later as section head in technical services in Midland, Mich., in 1963.
In 1967, LeBlanc worked for Ashland Chemical in Charlotte, N.C., as a development manager until he took on the role of research manager at the National Cotton Council in Memphis, in 1968.
In 1970, he moved to East Greenwich, R.I., and founded LeBlanc Research, which provided textile chemistry consulting and contract research for companies in the chemical, fiber, paper, and plastics industries and for the U.S. government. The company moved to Tallulah, La., in 1987.
An expert in flammability of textiles, LeBlanc authored or coauthored more than 60 publications in scientific and trade journals and held 16 textile-related patents. An emeritus member, LeBlanc joined ACS in 1950.
He was also a member of the Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists and was active in ASTM International; he organized the Annual Symposium on Textile Flammability from 1973 to 1978. He also served as editor of the Textile Flammability Digest from 1973 to 1987 and Plastic Flammability Patents from 1975 to 1983.
LeBlanc is survived by his wife, Donna; eight children; 16 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Marvin D. Rausch, 77, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, died on May 2 in Amherst.
Born in Topeka, Kan., Rausch earned a B.S. degree from Kansas University, continuing on to earn a Ph.D. there in 1955.
He then served briefly in the Air Force as a projects officer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. While there, he conducted research in metallocene chemistry, kindling an interest in organotransition-metal chemistry that would last his entire career.
In 1957, Rausch became the second postdoctoral fellow in the Munich lab of E. O. Fischer, who won the Nobel Prize for pioneering work in the area of organometallic chemistry in 1973.
Upon his return to the U.S., Rausch took a research position at Monsanto in St. Louis until 1963, when he joined the chemistry faculty at UMass. He was promoted to the rank of professor in 1968 and retired in 2002.
Rausch’s group synthesized and explored the chemistry of metallocenes, extending the range of known structural types. Later in his career, he and his colleague Jimmy Chien developed Group IV metallocene catalysts for polymerization of α-olefins.
Over three decades, Rausch visited Germany as a Von Humboldt Fellow and served as a lecturer sponsored by the Japan Society for Promotion of Science.
Rausch was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1953. He was an early chair of the Organometallic Subdivision of the Division of Inorganic Chemistry and was also active in the International Conferences on Organometallic Chemistry. He served on multiple editorial boards for publications, including the Journal of Organometallic Chemistry.
Rausch assembled an outstanding private collection of minerals. He remained in the Air Force Reserves until his discharge as a captain in 1967.
Rausch is survived by his wife, Jane; a daughter, Kathleen Henchey; two grandchildren; and his former wife, Carol Kreischer.
Gerald Reed, 95, a food industry biochemist, died on June 11 of natural causes at the Milwaukee Catholic Home.
Born in Berlin as Hans-Gerhart Rosenthal, he studied medicine at the University of Berlin. He left in 1933 to escape the Nazis and subsequently studied biochemistry at Charles University, in Prague, earning a Ph.D. in 1938. He then emigrated to the U.S. and changed his name to Gerald Reed.
He began his career in the U.S. by teaching chemistry at Loyola Dental College in Chicago. He then did penicillin research with Johnson & Johnson in Kalamazoo, Mich., until late in 1942, when he took a job with Libby McNeil & Libby in Chicago.
In 1947, Reed moved to Philadelphia to work for Rohm and Haas. Then in 1956 he began a long career with Red Star Yeast in Milwaukee as director of research. Reed later became vice president of research at the company, which was renamed Universal Foods in the 1960s.
Working full time into his 80s, Reed authored or coauthored many publications throughout his career, including the books “Enzymes in Food Processing” and “Yeast Technology.” He also helped edit the series “Biotechnology,” published by Wiley VCH. Reed was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1940.
He contributed to many charitable and humanistic initiatives in Milwaukee; taught English as a second language to immigrants; and served as treasurer at Summerfield United Methodist Church, which he joined in 1993. He was named Man of the Year by Jewish Family Services in 1994.
He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; son, Michael; and four grandchildren. His first wife, Helena, died in 1989.
Gustave A. (Gus) Schumann, 80, a retired S. C. Johnson research chemist, died on March 15 in Waterford, Wis., after suffering a second stroke.
Schumann was born in Beech Grove, Ind., a suburb of Indianapolis; during his service in the Army, he was stationed in Guam. After his discharge, he attended Loyola University in Chicago, graduating with a bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry in 1951. He began his career by working for Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, before earning a bachelor’s degree in business with honors in 1961.
He then began a long career with S. C. Johnson in Racine, Wis., as a research chemist. After retirement from the company in the 1980s, he continued to work part time at S. C. Johnson for the recruiting firm Manpower. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1951.
Survivors include his sister, Mary Elizabeth Schumann, and many nephews and nieces.
Calvin F. Stuntz, 89, emeritus chemistry professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, died on Nov. 30, 2007.
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Stuntz earned a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1939 from the University of Buffalo. He then taught high school science and math in Genoa, N.Y., for one year before working briefly as a chemist at Linde Air Products in Tonawanda, N.Y. From 1944 until 1945, he worked as a chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory, splitting his time between Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; and Oak Ridge, Tenn. He then returned to the University of Buffalo to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1947.
Stuntz then accepted a position as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. He became an associate professor there in 1951 and professor in 1969. He taught quantitative analysis for 32 years and was chairman for freshman and sophomore courses given by the chemistry department for more than five years before retiring in June 1979.
Stuntz was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1942. He received the Professional Service Award from the Chemical Society of Washington in 1970. He sang in church choirs for more than 70 years.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley; one son, Gordon; two daughters, Janet Roberts and Carol; and four grandchildren.
Charles D. (Dave) West, 70, a longtime professor of chemistry at Occidental College and a former science adviser for the Food & Drug Administration, died on June 20 in Baldwin Park, Calif.
Born in Riverside, Calif., West earned a B.A. in chemistry from Pomona College in 1959 and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964.
After working for Beckman Instruments in Fullerton, Calif., West began his 35-year teaching career at Occidental College in 1967. From 1992 until he retired in 2002, he was a science adviser for FDA, helping scientists solve their instrumentation and analysis problems.
Aiming to create a textbook he could use in class, West authored “Essentials of Quantitative Analysis” in 1987. He was an active member of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and of ACS, joining the latter in 1960.
West enjoyed camping, fishing, and growing exotic species of fruit in his backyard.
His wife of 44 years, Julia; their three children, Edward, Charles, and Elizabeth; and a granddaughter survive him.
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