H. Brian Halsall retired on 30 December 2011 after 37 years of service as Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. Born in Harrow, England, he was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he specialized in the field of biophysical chemistry and did his research on analytical ultracentrifugation and its application to studying glycoprotein aggregation. He came to the United States in 1967, first as a postdoctoral student at UCLA with Verne Schumaker where he explored the analytical aspects of the zonal ultracentrifuge, and then as a staff member at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories, before joining the faculty of UC in 1974.
Halsall's research interests included developing well-defined surfaces for hosting macromolecular interactions, immunoassay and blood substitutes, drug-glycoprotein interactions, and glycoprotein structure and stability. He collaborated extensively with his colleague William Heineman over a 30 year period, working together to pioneer the area of electrochemical immunoassay. Over the years Halsall and his students have presented 311 papers at both national and regional meetings and have coauthored more than 207 research publications, many in collaboration with William Heineman, the current department head.
Halsall taught a variety of biochemistry courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He had a special interest in good scientific writing and developed a popular graduate course on this topic. He was well known for his "red-ink" editing of research manuscripts and posters.
During his tenure at UC Halsall has served on numerous committees at both the departmental and university levels, ranging from curriculum committees to hiring committees to Ph.D committees and, in the latter case, may have achieved something of a record, having to date served on 129. He has also supervised the theses of 41 doctoral students and 10 masters students, as well as supervising four postdocs and providing research opportunities for 27 undergraduate students. All in all this remarkable record demonstrates his strong commitment to both quality teaching and research and how, in the best academic tradition, these two activities are intimately intertwined.
Halsall has been honored with the University of Cincinnati Faculty Award for Excellence, The Cincinnati ACS Chemist of the Year Award, and election as both a Fellow of the Graduate School and as a member of the National Academy of Inventors.