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Irving M. Klotz Dies at Age 89

May 4, 2005

Irving M. Klotz, 89, of Wilmette, Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, died April 27 in Evanston Hospital.

A graveside service was held April 29 at Shalom Memorial Park, Arlington Heights.

“Irving Klotz was one of the leading thinkers of his time in physical biochemistry, the field connecting physical chemistry with the life sciences,” said Northwestern Provost Lawrence B. Dumas. “He was one of the leading scientific figures at Northwestern in the latter half of the 20th century and contributed in significant ways to Northwestern's programmatic advancements in chemistry and the biological sciences. University presidents called upon him for advice in steering the institution while young faculty drew upon his willingness to mentor them as they developed their teaching and research careers.”

Mr. Klotz, a noted expert in chemical thermodynamics, was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1968 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1970. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1971.

Mr. Klotz devoted substantial efforts to investigations of ligand-receptor interactions, structure and function of proteins, chemical modifications of proteins, and the construction of polymers with enzyme-like catalytic properties. The principles and techniques developed by Mr. Klotz provided a foundation for rational molecular investigations of effector-receptor interactions throughout the basic life sciences.

In addition to more than 200 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, Mr. Klotz was the author of numerous books including “Ligand-Receptor Energetics: A Guide for the Perplexed” and co-author, with Robert M. Rosenberg, of “Chemical Thermodynamics: Basic Theory and Methods.” He also wrote on topics of more general scientific interest. One of his notable books in this area is “Diamond Dealers and Feather Merchants: Tales from the Sciences.”

Mr. Klotz was a member of numerous scientific societies including the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Mr. Klotz joined the Northwestern faculty in 1940 and was awarded tenure in 1947. He retired in 1986. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1937 and a Ph.D. in 1940, both from the University of Chicago.

Mr. Klotz is survived by his wife, Mary Sue Hanlon Klotz; two sons , Edward S. and David P.; a daughter Audie J. Klotz (Paul Fenwick); a sister Harriet Meyer (the late Edwin Meyer); and three generations of nieces and nephews.

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