Issue Date: April 23, 2012
Peter H. L. Wei
Peter H. L. Wei, 89, a retired Wyeth medicinal chemist, died on Feb. 5 in Philadelphia.
Born in the village of Man in Shandong province, China, he earned a scholarship to St. John’s University in Shanghai, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1948. Later that year, he immigrated to the U.S. and earned a master’s degree in chemistry from Columbia University in 1953.
Wei then worked as a medicinal chemist for Norwich Pharmaceuticals in Norwich, N.Y., until 1960, when he joined Wyeth as a medicinal research chemist.
At Wyeth, his research focused on the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds that could be used in antibacterial, antianxiety, hypotensive, immunological, and proton-pump-inhibition applications. While at Wyeth, Wei earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. He retired from the company in 1987.
He is credited with more than 80 U.S. patents and 11 peer-reviewed research articles. He was an emeritus member of ACS, which he joined in 1954.
Wei was a devout Christian, an avid fisherman, and a talented musician, playing trumpet and piano proficiently. He performed as a tenor with several choirs, including the Wayne Oratorio Society.
He is survived by his second wife, Mei Chen; sons, Nathan and Wesley; daughters, Esther and Deborah; and 10 grandchildren. Wei’s first wife, Pearl, died in 1988.
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