Issue Date: October 17, 2011
Arnold R. Brossi
Arnold R. Brossi, 87, a retired Hoffmann-La Roche executive and National Institutes of Health scientist emeritus, died on July 16 in Bethesda, Md.
Born in Winterthur, Switzerland, Brossi received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, in 1952 under Oskar Jeger.
Brossi began his career at Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland, remaining with the company for more than 20 years. He became its director of chemical research in 1963, serving in Basel and in Nutley, N.J. He was later appointed vice president of chemistry research.
Beginning in 1976, Brossi spent more than a decade with the National Institutes of Health, overseeing the natural products section of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), in Bethesda.
In his research, Brossi focused on the synthesis and study of biologically active natural products, as well as the development of drugs to treat malaria, cancer, and neuropsychiatric disorders. He authored or coauthored more than 400 scientific papers and is credited with many patents.
After his retirement in 1991, Brossi continued to work at NIDDK as a visiting scientist. He was also a research professor at the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and collaborated with scientists at numerous institutions.
Brossi received the Charles Mentzer Prize from the French Society of Medicinal Chemistry in 1989; the Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry from ACS in 1990; and the Medal of Merit from Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, in 1994.
Brossi was named an honorary member of the Polish Chemical Society, the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and the Swiss Chemical Society. He joined ACS in 1963.
Brossi was an avid fisherman, cardplayer, gourmand, and mushroom hunter.
He is survived by his son, Mario; daughters, Angela Kindhauser and Franca Alphin; five grandchildren; and two great-grandsons. His wife, Hanni, died in 1999.
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