A new WNED production, Herbert Hauptman: Portrait of a Laureate, profiles the life and career of the 91-year-old president of Buffalo’s Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. The thirty-minute documentary will premiere Sunday, June 22 at 10:30 pm on WNED-TV, and will be re-broadcast Sunday, June 29 at 2 pm on WNED-TV as well as Saturday, July 12 at 9:30 pm on ThinkBright TV (Time Warner 21 or Digital 17.3).
From a working class family in Brooklyn, Hauptman would become a world-renowned mathematician whose work changed the field of chemistry. His groundbreaking methods helped uncover the structures of molecules, a key step to understanding disease processes and designing drugs to combat them. With his research partner Jerome Karle, a physical chemist, Hauptman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1985.
In addition to leading the Institute that now bears his name, Hauptman is a Distinguished Professor in the Structural Biology Department in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo.
“The film is a moving tribute to a remarkable man,” said WNED President and CEO Donald K. Boswell. “Dr. Hauptman’s work continues to have an enormous impact on medical research. His story offers an inspiring example of what one person can accomplish with persistence, dedication and a commitment to excellence.”
“I would like to think that this film shows that mathematics is a beautiful and powerful way to solve problems which go far beyond the realm of what may be expected,” Dr. Herbert A. Hauptman, Nobel Laureate and President of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, said. “My hope is that this will serve as an inspiration for the next generation of young scientists and mathematicians.”
“It’s a rare opportunity to be able to do a film about someone like Dr. Hauptman -- a man who you have to admire for his intelligence, but also for his thoughtfulness and logic,” said WNED Senior Producer Paul Lamont, who reflected on the significance of Hauptman’s professional contributions as well as his love for music, family and the beauty of mathematics.
“It’s astounding to me to think that someone can spend nearly four decades working on a single problem as he did, with dedication, focus and the ability to balance his family life with that passion and drive,” Lamont said. “I approached this film as a series of snapshots which, when looked at as a whole, reveal the picture of a man.”
Funding has been provided by Independent Health, the James H. Cummings Foundation, The Baird Foundation, The Peter C. Cornell Trust, Gelia Wells and Mohr, the M & T Charitable Foundation, The John R. Oishei Foundation, The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the University at Buffalo Academic Health Center, and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
WNED-TV is a station of the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association (WNYPBA), whose mission is to provide high quality programming and services that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate. WNYPBA also includes ThinkBright Lifelong Learning, WNED-AM 970 The Information Station and Classical 94.5/WNED.