In Memoriam: Dr. Theodore Peters

Theodore Peters, PhD, AACC President in 1988, passed away on March 19, 2020. Dr. Peters held numerous achievements throughout his career in chemistry including authoring the book “All about Albumin,” as well as more than 125 other prestigious publications.

As a young boy, Dr. Peters grew up fascinated by his father’s work as a physician. After graduating summa cum laude in chemical engineering from Leigh University, he went on to serve as a submarine radar officer during World War II. Following his time in the war, he obtained his PhD in biological chemistry from Harvard, held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School and at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and served another 2 years in naval service during the Korean War. Dr. Peters first began his career as a research biochemist at The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in 1955 where he remained until retirement in 1988.

During his time at Bassett, Dr. Peters quickly found his path toward clinical chemistry. Managing the Bassett Clinical Chemistry Laboratory led him to become one of the founders of the Upstate New York Section of AACC serving as Chairman of the Section from 1963-1964. After writing to the chairman of the AACC Standards Committee offering suggestions on better measuring total serum protein, he was elected as chairman of a subcommittee and eventually became chairman of the Standards Committee. From 1970-1984, Dr. Peters served on the Board of Editors for Clinical Chemistry where he held the chairman position for 3 years. He also served on the AACC Awards Committee, the Committee for Science, the Archives Committee, and two National Meetings Committees before becoming AACC President.

In 1976, Dr. Peters received the Upstate New York Section’s Michael Somogyi Award followed by the D.D. Van Slyke Award from the AACC Metropolitan New York Section. He went on to receive three AACC Outstanding Contribution awards including: Outstanding Contributions Through Service to the Profession of Clinical Chemistry (1991), Outstanding Contributions in a Selected Area of Research (1997), and Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry (2002). In 2006, he was named AACC “Conservationist of the Year.”

As AACC President, Dr. Peters will be remembered for his active and friendly role. By regularly visiting different local sections he sought to increase communication and engagement amongst AACC members, local sections, and similar organizations to create his idea of an AACC family. He will be deeply missed for his devotion and diligent work in the field of clinical chemistry.