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Oscar Touster

Oscar Touster, ORAU president from 1988-91

Dr. Oscar Touster, ORAU president from 1988-1991

Dr. Oscar Touster, Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University, was president of ORAU from 1976 to 1988 and chairman of the Board of Directors from 1988 to 1991.

Dr. Touster was also chairman of the department of molecular biology at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Touster has been affiliated with ORAU since 1963, when he was the Vanderbilt representative on the Council of Sponsoring Institutions. He served as chairman of the Medical Committee from 1965 to 1970, as chairman of the Nominating Committee in 1967, and on the Medical Review Committee in 1970.

From 1970 to 1973, he was chairman of the council. From 1974 to 1976 he was vice president of the Board of Directors before being elected president.

A native of New York, N.Y., Dr. Touster earned his bachelor of science degree from the College of the City of New York, his master’s degree from Oberlin College, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before embarking on his academic career, Dr. Touster was a chemist at Atlas Powder Company and a research biochemist at Abbott Laboratories.

Dr. Touster was the recipient of many honors, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Theobald Smith Award in the Medical Sciences and the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award. He was also a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

He published widely in a variety of books and journals, including Organic Reactions, the American Journal of Medicine, the Encyclopedia of Biochemistry, and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.

Dr. Touster presently lives in Nashville, Tenn., where he is a professor emeritus of molecular biology and biochemistry at Vanderbilt University.