Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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IN MEMORIAM

JAIME N. DELGADO

 

Jaime N. Delgado was born on July 28, 1932, in El Paso, Texas. He was the youngest of four children born to Refugio and Amando Delgado. After graduating from El Paso High School in January 1950, he attended Texas Western College, now known as the University of Texas at El Paso, for one semester, and then transferred to The University of Texas at Austin. He graduated with a BS in pharmacy in 1954 and married Celia Davila, his wife and partner for the next 47 years. He continued at The University of Texas in graduate school, working under the supervision of Professor Frederick Lofgren on the chemical stability of pharmaceutical preparations. Jaime received an MS in pharmacy in 1955. He then journeyed north to the University of Minnesota, where he received a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1960 under the supervision of Professor Ole Gisvold. Jaime was always grateful that he was encouraged to go to Minnesota, as he considered himself fortunate to study under the best minds in medicinal chemistry, as well as organic and physical chemistry. In retrospect, he considered this his wisest decision.

Dr. Delgado returned to The University of Texas in 1959 and joined the faculty in the College of Pharmacy as an assistant professor. He steadily rose through the ranks, becoming an associate professor in 1963 and a full professor in 1972. He headed the Division of Medicinal Chemistry for more than ten years and served as graduate advisor in the college from 1969 to 1978. In 1987, the Board of Regents named Dr. Delgado to the Jacques P. Servier Regents Professorship in Pharmacy in recognition of his many contributions to medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical education. In 1997, he was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at The University of Texas and was honored as a Distinguished Teaching Professor, a permanent academic title. On September 1, 2001, Jaime became the Jacques P. Servier Professor Emeritus and officially "retired" from the University. Nonetheless, he continued to teach elective and graduate courses.

Dr. Delgado left the college, reluctantly, on October 4, 2001, with a cardiovascular problem. At the time, he was preparing a lecture for his freshman seminar class, one of his favorite classes. Sadly, he died the next morning. He was survived by his wife, Celia, and his daughter, Celyna.

Dr. Delgado was an accomplished and productive scientist. His research concentrated on synthetic medicinal chemistry and structure-activity studies of oxime ethers, their stereochemistry, and their anticholinergic and anticonvulsant properties. He significantly increased our knowledge in these areas with his scholarly contributions. His research results were published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and received national recognition, as indicated by both his election to the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Revision Committee (1970-1975) and his membership in the USP Convention (1975-1980 and 1980-1985). He was also invited to contribute a chapter on anticonvulsants to the prestigious treatise of medicinal chemistry entitled Burger's Medicinal Chemistry (edited by A. Burger) in 1970. This recognition enhanced the college's reputation, which facilitated his efforts to attract graduate students and to build the Division of Medicinal Chemistry. In addition, Dr. Delgado was invited to serve on study sections for the National Institutes of Health.

There are few who will remember that Jaime built the graduate program in medicinal chemistry, as well as the Division of Medicinal Chemistry, from scratch. Dr. Delgado arrived at the college at a time when it was not known for its research endeavors. Heavy teaching loads made faculty research difficult. He was one of the first in his generation of assistant professors at the college to realize that a vigorous graduate program was needed. He was encouraged in his work to develop the graduate program by his friend, Dean Lee F. Worrell. Hence, he set out to recruit the best students from undergraduate classes. Recruitment of these students required enthusiastic and dynamic lectures, and, as we all know, Jaime was the master. He successfully attracted many students into the laboratory where their lives were changed forever. Eventually these students became his colleagues, teaching at universities throughout the U.S. and the world. They were also his lifelong friends. At the same time, Jaime recruited young faculty to the college to assist in his efforts to build a program which became the Division of Medicinal Chemistry.

He supervised UT's first PhD in medicinal chemistry, Man M. Kochhar, whose graduation commenced what he considered to be the "golden age" of UT's medicinal chemistry graduate program. Fourteen more students followed this first PhD student: Drs. Herbert F. Schwartz, Reynaldo V. Saenz, Fred D. Reed, Jr., William G. Haney, Jr., Pedro L. Huerta, Jr., Donald L. Middleton, Gustavo R. Ortega, David B. Garcia, Faith M. Fiedler, Vilas A. Prabhu, Billie M. York, Jr., Rajni B. Patel, Basil O. Ibe, and Marêa A. Hernöndez Benêtez. He also supervised a number of MS graduates. This group included his first MS student, Edward E. Gonzalez, who received his degree in 1960, followed by Billy B. Wylie, Sushil K. Gomer, Maryam Amini, Jorge Ruiz-Davila, Hsiao-Chiung Chen, Maria A. Dieck-Assad, Hong-Bin Gung, and Elma Camargo de Monsalve.

In addition to his research and scholarly activities, Dr. Delgado was an author and an editor. As an author, Jaime contributed chapters to Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Wilson and Gisvold's Textbook of Organic Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, the "Bibles" of medicinal chemistry. Much of the material originated from his personal lecture notes. His chapter on anticonvulsants appeared in the third and fourth editions of Burger's Medicinal Chemistry. He also contributed chapters to the seventh and eighth editions of Wilson and Gisvold's Textbook of Organic Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (edited by C. O. Wilson, O. Gisvold, and R. F. Doerge). While he was proud of these contributions, he considered his role as coeditor (along with Bill Remers) of the ninth and tenth editions of the Wilson and Gisvold textbook as one of the milestones of his career. At the time of his death, he was updating the eleventh edition. This book is used at several colleges of pharmacy, both in the United States and abroad. He also contributed chapters to these editions. Jaime was quite proud of the fact that there is a Chinese translation available.

Although Dr. Delgado had a distinguished career as a scientist, an author, and an editor, teaching undergraduate and graduate students was always his greatest love, and is his professional legacy. Jaime remarked several times that he was "genetically destined" to become a professor who enjoyed teaching, because his mother and two aunts were teachers in Chihuahua, Mexico. Indeed, this genetic destiny was fulfilled and Jaime grew into a teaching legend among the students and the alumni. Their love for him was evident from the numerous awards and honors he received. He was repeatedly recognized for his undergraduate teaching and advising efforts in the College of Pharmacy. He received five major teaching awards, including three Texas Excellence Teaching Awards. He was frequently the recipient of the Longhorn Pharmaceutical Association's "Spoil-a-Faculty of the Month" Award. Dr. Delgado was also recognized twice as one of the "best" professors at UT by UTMost (1984 and 1992). He was asked to speak at the college's commencement. The UT Pharmacy Alumni Association honored him with the "Legend of Pharmacy Award" in 1995, and the "William J. Sheffield Outstanding Alumnus Award of the University of Texas Pharmacy Alumni Association" in 1998. Dr. David Garcia, one of his graduate students, established the Jaime N. Delgado Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Pharmacy as a tribute to his mentor and his friend. Students (former and present) visited with him frequently, sharing their stories and looking to him for advice and mentoring.

Dr. Delgado's classroom theatrics and the "extensive and extemporaneous use of the chalkboard" were well known. At a reception celebrating the occasion of Jaime's transition to emeritus status, Jim Doluisio, the former dean of the college, remarked that "when he is in front of students, he ¥owns the classroom,' because of his knowledge, his communication skills, and his deep conviction that the profession of pharmacy must be a science based profession." Moreover, he continued, "In his classes, chalk breaks and chalk dust fills the front rows, and no one can emphasize an important point like Jaime." This occasion was also celebrated by the creation of the Jaime N. Delgado Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry by Jaime's former students, friends, family, and colleagues. This fellowship was established to provide support for graduate students in medicinal chemistry, which delighted Jaime.

Dr. Delgado also served as a much-loved faculty advisor to student organizations. He served as the faculty advisor for MAAPS—the Mexican-American Association of Pharmacy Students—and the Mexican American Health Professions Organization. The latter organization recognized him as Outstanding Professor in 1995.

His role as an educator went beyond The University of Texas. He traveled extensively throughout Mexico and South America, providing lectures on pharmaceutical education. Jaime first served as a visiting professor at the Universidad de los Andes (Merida, Venezuela) in 1982. Subsequently, he inaugurated the MS program there and continued to participate in the program in 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, and 1992. In 1994, one of his former students, Dr. Jorge Ruiz-Davila, invited him to the La Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Peru, as a visiting professor. He presented a three-week intensive course in medicinal chemistry to the faculty and students. He also presented research seminars at the Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco and La Universidad de Arequipa. During the summer of 2000, Dr. Delgado returned to Peru to present two intensive courses in medicinal chemistry. He served as visiting professor at the University of Nuevo Leon and the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico, where he presented seminars on recent advances in medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical education. During 1996-1997, Dr. Delgado worked with the Texas International Education Consortium in the complete reformation of the curricula of the Facultad de Ciencias Quimicas de La Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon. He was always fascinated by the differences in pharmacy practice and pharmacy education.

Dr. Delgado firmly believed that undergraduate teaching and successful graduate programs were not mutually exclusive, but went hand in hand. His favorite example was a story from his own experience. His lectures on the biochemistry and structure-activity relationships of progesterone and androstene-3,17-dione were always among his favorites. One day after one of these lectures, he returned to the lab to wash the chalk off his hands and replayed the lecture in his head. At that point, it occurred to him that the androstenedione structure could be a useful skeleton to use as a basis for the attachment of anti-acetylcholine pharmacophores. As a result, David Garcia synthesized oxime-ether derivatives of androstenedione, which proved to be effective neuromuscular blockers. This work was cited in the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, Volume 79, Chapter 12, "Steroid Derivatives." The volume, published in 1986 and edited by D. A. Kharkevich, is entitled New Neuromuscular Blocking Agents.

Jaime was a very private person. However, it was clear that he was tremendously proud of his wife, Celia, and his daughter, Celyna. All three were graduates of The University of Texas College of Pharmacy, and Celia and Celyna remain staunch supporters of the college and of the University. Jaime supported Celia's work to help the needy, and Celyna's endeavor to become a pharmacist and, shortly thereafter, an obstetrician-gynecologist. He was fortunate to be both her father and her teacher in the College of Pharmacy. Jaime, Celia, and Celyna were all members of the Generation Club. In 1997, Celia and Celyna established the Jaime N. Delgado Endowed Professorship in Pharmacy, as a lasting tribute to a husband and a father.

Jaime was always a gentleman: one who never raised his voice and treated all with respect and dignity. If he objected to a new policy in the college or a decision in the division, he voiced his objection, sometimes strongly, but then he moved on, and never bore a grudge. He encouraged and supported young faculty, and celebrated their promotions. Jaime had an insatiable intellectual curiosity and he shared his knowledge enthusiastically. Jaime enriched the lives of many. This was his gift to us. He is greatly missed.



<signed>

Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin

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John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty


This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Christian P. Whitman (chair), Salomon A. Stavchansky, and David B. Garcia.