Established in 1997 by students and colleagues in honor of Alsoph H. Corwin

Image Credit: Larry Canner ALSOPH H. CORWIN joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1932. For more than four decades he served as a teacher and mentor, all the while making significant contributions to several branches of chemistry. His research led to a clearer understanding of photosynthesis and the chemistry of chlorophyll and hemoglobin. Dr. Corwin's work led to the development of a chemical method for restoring highly corroded copper antiquities and to the design of sensitive microbalances.

Dr. Corwin's active sense of inquiry led him to the study of food and environmental factors related to health, for which he was awarded the Jonathan Forman Medal of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. He retired in 1972, and in 1987 the university awarded him an honorary degree. In 1989 his former students came to Hopkins from around the world to honor him, launching the drive to create this professorship in his honor. Professor Corwin died in 2007.


CRAIG A. TOWNSEND, the Alsoph H. Corwin Professor of Chemistry and an expert on natural-product biosynthesis and bioorganic chemistry, was named Maryland Chemist of the Year in 1992. In 1995, he was a recipient of the prestigious American Chemical Society Cope Scholar Award. He has greatly advanced understanding of the formation of certain anti-tumor antibiotics and environmental carcinogens. His recent collaboration with researchers at the Hopkins School of Medicine has yielded promising leads in the treatment of tuberculosis, leprosy, cancer and obesity. Dr. Townsend was appointed to the Hopkins faculty in 1976.