© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Corwin Hansch


Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship models, or “QSAR” models, are ways of analyzing data used in biology, chemistry, and engineering. It first sums up the relationship between a molecule’s chemical structure and biological activity, then it uses that information to make predictions about chemical reactions and help analyze biological effects. For instance, if a new drug had horrible side effects, a QSAR model can help scientists investigate how to chemically change the drug to help alleviate side effects while still retaining the helpful qualities. This model has been revolutionary in the field of molecular chemistry, and its creator was born right here in North Dakota.

Corwin Hansch was born in Kenmare, North Dakota on this date in 1918. He attended Lincoln College in Illinois and the University of Illinois before moving on to New York University in 1940 where he earned his PhD. Afterwards, Hansch accepted a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Chicago. In 1944, he became an active group leader on the Manhattan Project, the research program during World War II that developed the first nuclear weapons. In 1946, he became a professor at Pomona College, a small liberal arts school in New Hampshire. There he began studying biological activity with chemical structures.

Over the next ten years, his work included research sabbaticals in Switzerland and Munich. In 1962 and 63, he initiated the field of QSAR models when he published papers on the culmination of his studies.

Hansch stood out in the science world because he relied heavily on undergrad research in the laboratory. Most scientists typically used post-doctoral fellows or at least grad students, but Hansch proved that much can be achieved with many hardworking young adults. By the time he retired in 1988, he had published over 250 research articles with at least 43 undergrad co-authors. Even after retirement, Hansch could not abandon his passion. He continued researching until 2010. On May 8, 2011, the man known as the 'father of computer-assisted molecule design' died at age at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy of knowledge and enabled youth.

Dakota Datebook by Lucid Thomas

"https://www.acsmedchem.org/?nd=Hansch" https://www.acsmedchem.org/?nd=Hansch

"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_structure%E2%80%93activity_relationship" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_structure%E2%80%93activity_relationship

"http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/23/local/la-me-corwin-hansch-20110523" http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/23/local/la-me-corwin-hansch-20110523