Issue Date: March 26, 2012
Horace G. (Hank) Cutler
Horace G. (Hank) Cutler, 78, a natural products chemist, died of cancer on June 1, 2011, in Watkinsville, Ga.
Born in London, Cutler received a B.S. in agriculture and arts from Trinity College Dublin in 1953. The following year, he accepted a Union Carbide fellowship at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca, N.Y., where he conducted research on plant growth regulators with Lawrence King. Cutler helped King develop carbamate-based insecticidal agents, which led to the discovery of Sevin carbaryl insecticides by Union Carbide.
Cutler then earned a B.S. in botany from Columbia University in 1959 and began work as a plant physiologist with Tate & Lyle’s Central Agricultural Research Station in Trinidad, West Indies. In that role, he researched bioactive compounds in a variety of plants. This work supported Tate & Lyle’s subsequent development of the sucralose-based artificial sweetener Splenda.
After earning a Ph.D. in natural products chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1967, Cutler joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Tifton, Ga., developing a natural products program. His research group grew, and he eventually moved it to the National Center for Natural Products Research in Oxford, Miss. He retired in 1995.
Cutler published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers and held more than 50 U.S. and international patents. He received many awards and was a member of organizations including the New York Academy of Sciences and the Georgia Academy of Sciences. He joined ACS in 1981.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joanne; sons, Frank, Paul, Chris, Kevin, and Stephen; daughters, Elizabeth Grow and Holly Kendrick; and 12 grandchildren.
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