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Vincent V. Hamparian

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Vincent V. Hamparian Obituary
HAMPARIAN Vincent V. Hamparian, whose life revolved around science and centered on family, died January 19, 2013 surrounded by his wife and children after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 85. In July, his family and friends celebrated Vince's life. Hundreds of people filled the Hamparians' Upper Arlington home to share stories, reacquaint and eat great food. Vince was a familiar figure in the Graves Hall laboratories at The Ohio State University for 40 years, where he was a researcher and professor of microbiology and virology; and at then-Children's Hospital, where he was executive director of its research foundation. He was a member of various scientific organizations and authored and co-authored dozens and dozens of research papers on a myriad of viruses, including many on the vector that causes the common cold. He directed the world's first rhinovirus reference center, which was established in 1965 at Children's Hospital with an award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In January 1975, he and colleague Norman L. Somerson were featured in a story on the front page of The Columbus Dispatch for their groundbreaking work in developing a pneumonia vaccine. The story went out on the wires and ran in papers from Phoenix to Burlington, Vermont. The two were close friends and part of a tight group of OSU immunologists, virologists and microbiologists who shared an affinity for good cigars, large mustaches and funny stories. The group that included the likes of Don Thomas, Norm Somerson, John Hughes, Dennis Pollack and Abromo Ottolenghi went to football games together, vacationed together with their families and hosted many dinners, cookouts and parties. Pollack, Ottolenghi and Dr. Grant Morrow were very close until his death. A native of New York, Vince received his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1950 and master's degree in microbiology in 1951 from Wayne State University in Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in microbiology in 1958 from the University of Pennsylvania. Vince served two tours in the Army, the second as a staff sergeant from 1951 to 1954, receiving training at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He taught virology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958. From 1958 to 1964, he was a researcher and director of the respiratory virus research lab at Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research in Pennsylvania. He started at The Ohio State University in 1964, retiring 1993, but remained an emeritus professor, chairman of the Human Subjects Committee and director at Children's Hospital. A favorite vacation spot was Crystal Lake in Northern Michigan, where his family continues to visit. He is survived by his wife, Donna; and children, Donald (MaryRose), Becky McGovern (Michael), Marty (Lora) and Matthew (Brian); grandchildren, Matthew and Danny Hamparian, Kelly and Sean McGovern and Claire and Kate Hamparian. He is preceded in death by his parents Sarkis and Margaret Hamparian and mother-in-law Veronica McFann. Calling hours will be Sunday, January 27th from 2-4 p.m. followed by a brief service at SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL, 1740 Zollinger Road, Columbus, OH 43221. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Wexner Center for Pediatric Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital or Planned Parenthood, in his memory.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Jan. 20, 2013
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