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W. Wallace (Mo) Cleland

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 15, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 28

This is a minimug of W. Wallace (Mo) Cleland.

W. Wallace (Mo) Cleland, 83, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, died on March 6.

Born in Baltimore, Cleland received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oberlin College in 1950 and an M.S. in 1953 and a Ph.D. in 1955, both in biochemistry, from UW Madison.

After pursuing postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago, he became an assistant professor at UW Madison in 1959. He was later named the Marvin J. Johnson Professor of Biochemistry and the Steenbock Professor of Chemical Science. He was also codirector of the university’s Enzyme Institute. Cleland conducted pioneering research in enzymology and was an expert in enzyme kinetics.

He became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1977 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985. Cleland joined ACS in 1960.

His numerous awards include the Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry from ACS and the Repligen Corp. Award in the Chemistry of Biological Processes from the ACS Division of Biological Chemistry.

UW Madison’s biochemistry department will honor Cleland and his contributions to enzyme chemistry during its 36th Steenbock Symposium on May 22–24, 2014, at the Overture Center in Madison.

An opera lover and patron of the arts, Cleland was also an avid stamp collector and researcher of philatelic history. He received a Philatelic Achievement Award from the Smithsonian Institution in 2008.

His daughters, Erica Shep­ard and Elsa, and three grandsons survive him.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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