October 1, 2017

Remembering Bill Howald, UWSOP Mass Spec Director

Bill Howald (pictured center) in the Mass Spec lab with then graduate student Shimako Oishi and former Dean Sid Nelson.

Bill Howald (pictured center) in the Mass Spec lab with then graduate student Shimako Oishi and former Dean Sid Nelson.

William “Bill” Howald passed away August 14, 2017 in Salem, Oregon at the age of 76 after a brief illness. After retirement, Bill and his wife Carole moved to Oregon to be closer to family.

Bill joined the School of Pharmacy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry as a Research Technologist working in the Mass Spectrometry Facility. He became the Manager of the Facility and Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry in 1983 and retired in 2008 after building a world class center.

During his tenure the Mass Spectrometry Center provided cutting edge mass spectrometers and other tools to support the diverse and evolving research programs in proteomics, drug metabolism and biochemical toxicology in the School of Pharmacy as well as the in the larger UW research community. He played an essential role in the research productivity of the school working closely with Bill Trager, Tom Baillie, Sid Nelson, Allan Rettie, Rene Levy, Ken Thummel and countless others.

Perhaps equally significant to the mountains of his research accomplishments was the extensive hands-on training that Bill provided to the many generations of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows that have moved through our training programs. These scientists, now spread through the world, provide a long and lasting testimony to Bill’s legacy.

Mass spectrometers are expensive, powerful, and unfortunately highly temperamental instruments. Medicinal Chemistry department chair Kent Kunze said, “Training new students required the endless patience and a good sense of humor for which Bill was famous. Bill was a consummate scientist and wonderful colleague and friend to all.”

The family has asked that gifts in remembrance of Bill’s life and work be made to the William Howald Mass Spectrometry Support Fund at the UW School of Pharmacy at http://bit.ly/BHowald. 

 

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