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Fellows Directory

Cedric Hassall

Cedric Hassall

Professor Cedric Hassall FRS


Elected: 1985


Cedric Hassall was a chemist who conducted pioneering work on biologically active substances, providing valuable insight into the structure and functionality of a broad range of chemical groups. An internationally respected authority on the antibiotic properties of plants, Cedric devoted himself to the design and synthesis of medicinal agents.

His research successes included a solution to the problem of Jamaican vomiting sickness, an acute illness now known to be caused by eating the unripe fruit of the ackee tree. Cedric correctly identified the chemical toxin hypoglycin as the cause of the disease, and helped to isolate and determine its physical structure.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cedric was a former Research Director of the healthcare giant Roche. Appointed the first Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University College of the West Indies, now the University of the West Indies, Cedric moved to Wales in 1957 to lead the Department of Chemistry at the University College of Swansea (now Swansea University).

Professor Cedric Hassall FRS died on 5 September 2017.

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