Hauptman, Herbert Aaron

Hauptman, Herbert Aaron houptˈmän [key], 1917–2011, American chemist, b. Bronx, N.Y., grad. City College of New York (B.S., 1937) and Univ. of Maryland (Ph.D., 1955). In 1985, Hauptman and former undergraduate classmate Jerome Karle were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of a mathematical model known as the “direct method.” Devised in the 1950s and 60s while they were working in the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, the innovation greatly improved crystallography methods for analyzing three-dimensional molecular structures. The more detailed knowledge that resulted led to a better understanding of the chemistry of the human body and to the development of new drugs. Hauptman joined the Medical Foundation of Buffalo (now the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute) in 1970 and became its president in 1988; he also taught at the State Univ. of New York at Buffalo.

See his autobiography (2008).

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