Ekkehard Winterfeldt, Professor Emeritus, Leibniz University, Hanover, Germany, and former President of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society), passed away on October 11, 2014.
His research focused on alkaloid synthesis and he developed several novel total syntheses, including the Cu(II)-catalyzed synthesis of cytotoxic quinoline alkaloid, Camptothecin, which is used in cancer treatment.
Ekkehard Winterfeldt was born on May 13, 1932 in Gdańsk, now Poland. He studied chemistry at the University of Hamburg and the Technical University Braunschweig, both Germany, and received his PhD there in 1958 for work on the synthesis of hydroxysparteines. In 1959, Winterfeldt joined the faculty at the Technical University Berlin, Germany, as a research assistant working on naturally occurring thiophene derivatives for his habilitation, which he completed in 1967. In 1970, he was appointed full professor at the University of Hanover, Germany, now Leibniz University of Hanover.
Winterfeldt remained at Hanover until his retirement in 2000, and served as Institute Director and Head of the Department of Chemistry for the university as well as President of the GDCh from 1996–1997. He had educated 200 diploma and PhD students by the time of his retirement. Among other honors, he has received the Emil Fischer Medal and the Richard Kuhn Medal from the GDCh, the Adolf Windaus Medal from the University of Göttingen, Germany, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Liège, Belgium.
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