M . Joan Callanan, 85, a chemist who worked at government agencies for many years, died on April 25 in Washington, D.C., from cardiopulmonary failure.
Born in Washington, D.C., Callanan obtained a B.S. in chemistry from Trinity College, in Washington, in 1948. She received a master’s degree in chemistry from Catholic University in 1950.
She began her career at the National Institutes of Health, doing laboratory research on the physicochemical properties of proteins and nucleic acids. Callanan then worked for the National Academy of Sciences, writing proposals and grants from 1958 to 1961. From there she moved to the National Science Foundation, where she wrote and reviewed proposals for projects intended to increase the public’s understanding of science and to provide opportunities for women in science. She retired in 1983.
Callanan became an ACS member in 1950, and she was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to science, her interests included art, classical music, and traveling.
She is survived by her cousins, Dennis J. Toole and Reilly Ann Toole.