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William A. Remers

by Susan J. Ainsworth
May 18, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 20

William A. Remers, 82, retired professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the ­University of Arizona, died in Tucson on March 30.

Born in Cincinnati, Remers earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, under E. J. Corey in 1958.

After a postdoctoral stint at the University of Oxford, he joined Lederle Laboratories in Pearl River, N.Y., and participated in chemotherapy research.

In 1970, Remers joined the faculty of Purdue University. He became associate head of medicinal chemistry and conducted research on cancer drugs. In 1976, he moved to the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona and became head of the department of pharmaceutical sciences and a member of the Arizona Cancer Center. Remers received a teaching award from the College of Pharmacy in 1996.

Remers published seven books and more than 100 scientific articles on his research, which was directed at the design, synthesis, and mode of action of cancer drugs.

After retiring from the university in 1998, he cofounded AmpliMed Corp. and served as its vice president for chemistry.

Remers was a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he was a 60-year, emeritus member of ACS.

He enjoyed hiking in the Santa Catalina Mountains and attending Tucson Symphony Orchestra concerts.

Remers is survived by his wife, Ann; son, Julian; daughter, Laurel Pardee; and two grandchildren.

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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