Joseph H. Burckhalter, Ph.D.

Black and white photo of man

Joseph H. Burckhalter. National Inventors Hall of Fame.

(1912-2004) Burkhalter, born in Columbia, S.C., was the son of Edward Wilson Burckhalter and Elizabeth Belle Strain.  He earned his BS, MS, and Ph.D. and worked at Parke-Davis where he  derived Camoquin, a cure for malaria. Burckhalter was a professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan, dedicated to utilizing medicinal chemistry for the discovery of new drugs, particularly those to treat cancer and infectious diseases. After 1983, he spent time at the Florida Institute of Technology as a research professor. 

Among his many achievements, Burckhalter was largely responsible for building the interdepartmental graduate programs in medicinal chemistry at both the University of Kansas and the University of Michigan. He also made an essential contribution to the identification of antigens that has become widely used for rapid, accurate, and economic diagnosis of infectious diseases. 

The University of Kansas high-throughput screening laboratory maintains a very valuable collection of more than 15,000 unique natural compounds, including a set of information rich molecules developed years ago through the intuition and experience of world-class medicinal chemist Joseph Burckhalter.