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Takanobu Ishida

by Susan J. Ainsworth
January 26, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 4

Takanobu Ishida, 83, professor of chemistry emeritus at Stony Brook University, SUNY, died on Sept. 28, 2014, at his home in Setauket, N.Y.

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Ishida received an undergraduate degree in 1953 and a master’s degree in 1955, both in chemistry from Kyoto University. As a graduate student, he collected and analyzed nuclear fallout from the Lucky Dragon 5 (Daigo Fukuryu Maru), a fishing boat contaminated as a result of the U.S. thermonuclear device test on Bikini Atoll in 1954; that experience changed his academic interests from chemistry to nuclear engineering.

In 1956, Ishida moved to the U.S. on a Fulbright scholarship and earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from New York University in 1958 and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964.

Ishida worked as a research scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Yeshiva University before becoming a chemistry professor at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College.

Then in 1979, he moved to Stony Brook University, where he would remain until his retirement in 2002.

He conducted theoretical research on the correlation of isotope chemistry with molecular structure and molecular forces, collaborating for a period with Jacob Bigeleisen, a Stony Brook chemistry professor. Ishida studied the chemical and physical effects of stable isotope substitutions in molecules and the separation of stable isotopes, conducting research that has relevance to both nuclear energy and human physiology. Ishida was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1969.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Michiko; son, Noby; daughter, Emi; and three 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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