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Web Date: July 10, 2014

Carlos Barbas III, 49, Dies

Obituary: Scripps chemist’s pioneering research aided drug and vaccine development
Department: ACS News
Keywords: obituaries, Scripps Research Institute
Credit: Photo courtesy of Scripps Research Institute
Carlos Barbas III
Credit: Photo courtesy of Scripps Research Institute

Carlos Barbas III, 49, a well-known organic and biological chemist, died on June 24 after a battle with a rare form of medullary thyroid cancer.

Barbas was the Janet and Keith Kellogg II Chair professor and member of The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.

He pioneered research that melded molecular biology, chemistry, and medicine. His work involving biologically crucial science, including asymmetric catalysis, zinc finger technology, synthetic antibodies, and protein-like DNA enzymes, has led to numerous potential drug and vaccine development avenues.

Born on Nov. 5, 1964, Barbas received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. He earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Texas A&M University in 1989, working with Chi-Huey Wong, who is now also a professor at Scripps.

Barbas then spent two years doing postdoctoral work at Pennsylvania State University, first with chemistry professor Stephen Benkovic, and later, at Scripps, where he worked with former Scripps President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Lerner.

In 1991, Barbas became a professor in the molecular biology department at Scripps, where he remained for the rest of his career. He was also the founder of CovX Pharmaceuticals, Zyngenia, and a co-founder of Prolifaron, Barbas is survived by his wife, Annica; and four children, Derek, Sabrina, Sixten and Viggo.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society
Dr Narsimha R Kandadi (July 10, 2014 11:24 PM)
What a pity of loosing this energetic scientist of high talent to the dreaded disease and loosing him at this early age is not acceptable. How cruel is the fate taking the life of Barbas. However, my condolences to his family, associates and friends.

Monash University
Victor Snieckus (July 13, 2014 2:40 PM)
A tragedy. Our BAlticum Organicum Syntheticum (BOS) symposium just completed in Vilnius, Lithuania had Carlos as a speaker on the program. We dedicated the international symposium to him with a brief description of his achievements and a minute of silence.
Moballigh Ahmad (August 20, 2014 2:48 AM)
Just came to know about this sad news. He was great mentor and friend. A great loss to the scientific community. My condolence to his personal and scientific family.
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