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Israel Cabasso

by Susan J. Ainsworth
April 6, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 14

Photo of Israel Cabasso.

Israel Cabasso, 72, a professor in SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry’s chemistry department and director of the Michael M. Szwarc Polymer Research Institute in Syracuse, died on Dec. 2, 2014, after suffering from a massive stroke while traveling to Cleveland.

Born in Jerusalem, Cabasso received his M.S. in chemistry and physics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1968 and his Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel, in 1973.

Cabasso remained at the institute, working in its polymers department until 1976, when he moved to Gulf South Research Institute in New Orleans until 1980. He then joined the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry faculty as a professor and director of its Polymer Research Institute. He was internationally recognized for his work on membranes for reverse osmosis and battery separation, applied electrochemistry, and fuel cells.

Cabasso was credited with more than 135 publications and 25 patents. He received the Syracuse Section Award from ACS in 1997 and the SUNY Outstanding Inventor Award in 2002. He also served as a professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Cabasso joined ACS in 1974.

He is remembered for encouraging his students to be curious and honest researchers, and critical and independent thinkers.

An accomplished artist, Cabasso also cultivated an interest in art history.

Survivors include his wife, Youxin Yuan, and his sister, Yael Kombor.

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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