Walter Gunnar Schunack

Prof. Dr rer. nat. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Walter Schunack studied Pharmacy and Medicine in Germany and was awarded his PhD in Mainz in 1964 and his MD in Marburg in 1978. During his Habilitation (Qualification for Lecturing; DSc) in the field of Medicinal Chemistry, he had already undertaken pioneering work on novel histamine derivatives and analogues together with their pharmacological evaluation. In 1971, he was appointed as Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in Mainz and in 1984 he became Full Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Institute of Pharmacy of the Freie Universität Berlin, a post which he held until his retirement in 2003. In addition to his research work, he has been Dean of the Faculty as well as Vice-President of the University and he has shown a strong involvement in the advancement of the German academic Pharmacy education program. He supervised more than 75 PhD theses and 5 Habilitations and has been awarded numerous honours for his work. Among other distinctions he received the French Prix Charles Mentzer of the Société de Chimie Thérapeutique (1992), the Carl-Mannich-Medal of the German Pharmaceutical Society (1997), the Distinguished Service Cross 1. Class of the Federal Republic of Germany (2002) and was elected as Honorary Member of the Polish Histamine Research Society (2006). In 1998 he received his third doctoral degree (Dr. honoris causa) of the Université René Descartes, Sorbonne V, Paris, France. He is very well known in the EHRS for his abundant contributions of potent and selective ligands of different histamine receptor subtypes. He has developed several agonists (e.g., the histaprodifen-family (H1), sopromidine (H2), R-α-methylhistamine (H3)), antagonists (e.g., ciproxifan, and BF2.649 (H3)), radioligands (e. g., [125I]iodoaminopotentidine (H2), and [125I]iodoproxyfan (H3)), as well as many other histamine receptor modulating drugs with different properties (e.g., pro-drugs (BP2.94), protean ligands (proxyfan), hybrid compounds) used nowadays in many laboratories throughout the world. This has led to more than 400 international publications and many congress invitations as he is an excellent lecturer. Walter is a passionate histamine researcher with numerous co-operations all over the world, but especially within the community of the EHRS. Walter Gunnar Schunack died on 6th of April 2011.