Chester J. Cavallito

The Guest Book is expired.

Cavallito, Chester J. CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Chester John Cavallito, 94, died on March 28, 2010, at his home in Chapel Hill. He was born May 7, 1915 in Perth Amboy, N.J. In 1936, he earned a B.Sc. in chemistry from Rutgers University followed by a M.A. and, in 1940, a Ph.D. in organic and physiological chemistry from Ohio State University. From 1942 to 1950, Dr. Cavallito was a research group leader at Sterling-Winthrop Research Institute in Rensselaer, N.Y. Cavallito is viewed by many as the "father of garlic chemistry" because of his ground-breaking research at Sterling-Winthrop in which he isolated, characterized and synthesized the organic compound allicin from garlic, and identified its antibacterial properties. His seminal 1944-1947 publications in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on this subject are still widely cited today. In 1952, Cavallito moved to Neisler Laboratories where he served as vice president and director of research. In 1966, he accepted a position as professor and chairman of medicinal chemistry in the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Four years later, he left academia to again work in the pharmaceutical industry, this time as executive vice president of scientific affairs, Ayerst division of American Home Products, until he retired in 1978. Returning to the Chapel Hill area, he continued his love of research, teaching, management interests, and writing by volunteering as an adjunct professor in the UNC School of Pharmacy and as a consultant to various non-profit organizations until 1990. Dr. Cavallito is credited with more than 120 publications and 35 U.S. Patents. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, NY Academy of Sciences, American Society of Microbiology, and American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Positions he held include past president, Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences, A.Ph.A; past chairman, medicinal chemistry section of Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences; and past secretary and chairman, division of medicinal chemistry of the American Chemical Society. Besides his professional interests, Dr. Cavallito also enjoyed collecting unusual items he found at auctions, traveling, and, most importantly, spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Lucy L. Cavallito; his three children, daughter, Linda Shea of Durham, N.C., son, John Cavallito and daughter-in-law Ann Cavallito of Hillsborough, N.C., and daughter, Sandra Mays, of Cheyenne, Wyo. He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Alison Shea and Lauren Lippman, both of San Francisco, Calif., and David Mays of Chicago, Ill. He has three great-grandchildren, Emma, Anna, and John Mays of Chicago.
Published in Albany Times Union on May 2, 2010