Herman Russell Branson
Birthplace: Pocahontas, Va.
As chair of the Department of Physics at Howard University, Herman Branson helped the scientific community gain new insight into organic molecules and biological systems. His collaboration with Robert B. Corey and Nobel laureate Linus B. Pauling led to the identification of the alpha and gamma helical structures of proteins. An innovative researcher, Branson formed cross-disciplinary research teams of physicians, engineers, mathematicians, biologists, chemists, and physicists to facilitate study. After more than two decades of trailblazing research, Branson went on to serve as president at two historically black colleges, Central State University in Ohio (1968-1970) and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania (1970-1985).Died: 1995