Theodore (Ted) Kuwana, PhD

On behalf of the Ralph N. Adams Institute of Bioanalytical Chemistry, I am sad to announce the passing of Professor Ted Kuwana on January 1, 2022. Ted was one of the Adams Institute's most fervent supporters. Along with Don Leedy, Ted established the Ralph N. Adams Lectureship at KU and a travel grant for graduate students to attend Pittcon or other analytical conferences. Ted was a loyal KU alum, frequently seen throughout the world wearing his KU baseball cap. Even his dog frequently wore a KU hat or scarf!  He was Buzz Adams’ first graduate student and received his Ph.D. degree in 1959. In 1985, he returned to Lawrence and became the Regents Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and the Director of the Center for Bioanalytical Research (CBAR) at KU.

I worked with Ted for several years as part of the CBAR and am very appreciative of the mentoring he provided. He never appeared to sleep since you could find him at almost any hour at the lab or in his basement office at his house. Ted always liked to build things from scratch and it is from him that I really learned how to put instruments together.  As any of his group members would attest, he also liked to rearrange things around the lab about every six months.

Many of Ted’s students have gone into academics and a link to his academic family tree shows many of their career paths. Scientifically, Ted was a pioneer of the field of spectroelectrochemistry and a leader in discipline of analytical chemistry. He also was very concerned about education and started the Analytical Sciences Digital Library, which continues to be an important resource for faculty teaching analytical chemistry. Ted’s daughter, Ellen, has written a tremendous obituary that provides further detail about Ted’s life. Although we will miss Ted, we are grateful for the legacy he left and the impact he made on the field of bioanalytical chemistry.

~ Sue Lunte

Sue Lunte and Ted Kuwana working in laboratory