Corwin Hansch (1918 – 2011)

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 12 May 2011
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: Corwin Hansch (1918 – 2011)

Corwin Hansch, Professor Emeritus, Pomona College, California, USA, sadly passed away on May 8th, 2011 after a long bout of pneumonia.

Born in 1918 in Kenmare, North Dakota, USA, Hansch studied chemistry at the University of Illinois, USA, and obtained his PhD from New York University, USA. After a brief postdoctoral stay at the University of Illinois, he worked on the Manhattan Project and then at DuPont Nemours in Richland, Washington, USA. He joined the faculty at Pomona University in 1946 where he stayed until his retirement in 1988. He remained an active researcher until 2010.

His research focused on the correlation of biological activity with chemical structure; this led to the development of his seminal work in QSAR (quantitative structure-activity relationships) in which the mathematical relationship between the physiochemical properties and the structural properties of a molecule can be used to predict the biological response of other structures. He is also know for the Hansch equation which is used in multivariate statistics and the Hansch-Fujita π constant which describes the contribution of a substituent to the lipophilicity of a compound.

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