W. Peter Hambright: From Chicago to Howard University Chemistry


Born in Chicago, Illinois on December 15, 1939, to Winford Peter Hambright and Theda Hambright, Dr. W. Peter Hambright1 was reared in Chicago; graduated from high school there. He earned the B.S. degree in chemistry at Antioch College in 1962. He returned to Chicago in 1962 and earned the Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Chicago in 1966. Dr. Hambright joined the faculty at Howard University in 1966 and he immediately established a highly recognized research program which he sustained until his retirement in 2005 after nearly a forty-year tenure there5. Dr. Hambright’s specialization was in inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry, focusing his research on the coordination chemistry of metalloporphyrin molecules. He became the “Master” of water soluble tetraphenylporphyrin chemistry, synthesis, characterization, and kinetics – that will forever be linked with the name of Hambright. In one noted article he was not only cited several times, but he was described as “the father of water-soluble porphyrins. Over the course of Dr. Hambright’s career, he became increasingly interested in photodynamic therapy and radiopharmaceutical therapy and MRI contrast agents8,9,10.

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