Volume 89 Issue 15 | p. 52 | Obituaries
Issue Date: April 11, 2011

Henry M. (Hank) Fales

Department: ACS News
Keywords: Obituaries, People
Fales
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Fales

Henry M. (Hank) Fales, 83, a prominent scientist at the National Institutes of Health, died on Oct. 28, 2010.

Born in New York City, Fales enlisted in the Navy Air Corps as a trainee pilot in 1944. He then attended Rutgers University, earning a B.S. in 1948 and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1952 under R. A. Barnes.

In 1954, Fales accepted a research chemist position with W. C. Wildman in the Laboratory of Chemistry at what was then the National Heart Institute at NIH. He remained there for almost 57 years, including through the institute’s transition to the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute.

Findings from Fales’s laboratory were often the stimulus for the development or adaptation of technologies for biomedical applications, including chemical ionization, plasma desorption, and electrospray ionization. Under his direction, the Laboratory of Chemistry became a world-renowned center in the 1960s for structural chemistry as a result of the integration of nuclear magnetic resonance with X-ray crystallography and mass spectrometry.

Fales is credited with more than 350 publications dealing with natural products, biochemistry, insect pheromones, and protein structures. He also cofounded a Washington, D.C.-area mass spectrometry discussion group. Fales was active within the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and was its president from 1992 to 1994.

He received the Department of Health, Education & Welfare’s Superior Service Award in 1973 and 1986 and the Hillebrand Prize from the Chemical Society of Washington, the ACS Washington, D.C., local section, in 1977. He was an emeritus member of ACS, which he joined in 1952.

Fales is survived by his wife, Caroline; daughters, Marsha and Suzanne; and son, Richard.

 
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