William Hansel
William Hansel

William Hansel died January 2, 2017 at home in Baton Rouge. He was born September 16, 1918 in Vale Summit, MD to John William and Helene Sperlein Hansel. He was a graduate of the University of Maryland and received his MS and PhD degrees from Cornell University. He served in the 94th Infantry, part of Patton's Army during the World War II Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded two Purple Hearts.

Dr. Hansel had a long and distinguished scientific career. He was a member of the Cornell University Faculty for 41 years, serving as Chair of the Department of Physiology and as the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Animal Physiology. In 1990 he accepted the Gordon D. Cain Professorship at Louisiana State University. Most recently he was a member of the faculty at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Dr. Hansel is the originator and co-inventor of Cationic Lytic Peptide Technology, a new class of cancer drugs that target and destroy human breast, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancer cells. Development and clinical trials of these drugs are currently underway by Esperance Pharmaceutical Company, in partnership with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Hansel's recent research explores therapies for pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Hansel mentored over 100 pre- and post-doctoral students. He published over 300 scientific articles. Dr. Hansel was the recipient of many awards, including the Distinguished Scientist Award of the Society for the Study of Reproduction in 1991 and he was named a Renowned Physiologist by the American Physiology Society in 2014.

His wife, Milbrey Downey Hansel, predeceased him in 1997. He is survived by daughters , Kay DeMooy (Abraham) and Barbara Hansel (Roger Adams); grandchildren, Natasha Ericksen (Mark) and Meyer Freeman; great grandsons, Milo and Calvin Ericksen and by Gaynell Hayes Sanford to whom he was her parrain. A visitation and reception will be Friday, January 6, 2017 at Rabenhorst Funeral Home Downtown, 825 Government St., from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Interment will be at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Ithaca, NY at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: William Hansel Ovarian Research Program Fund of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, or William Hansel Visiting Scientist Seminar Series at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, or a charity of your choice .

Published in Ithaca Journal on Jan. 7, 2017

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