Herbert Hauptman: Portrait of a Laureate
Sunday, June 22 at 10:30 pm on WNED-TV – Premiere broadcast
Re-broadcast: Sunday, June 29 at 2 pm on WNED-TV
Saturday, July 12 at 9:30 pm on ThinkBright TV
“All I had to hear was that here was a problem that no one could solve … that was even impossible to solve in principle. Once I heard that, then there was no letting go.”
— Herbert A. Hauptman, Ph.D.
Scientists had tried for decades to determine the structure of molecules, a key step to understanding disease processes and designing drugs to combat them.
When Herbert Hauptman applied mathematics to this chemical puzzle, he developed groundbreaking methods that changed the field of chemistry and belied his prominent critics. With his research partner Jerome Karle, a physical chemist, Hauptman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1985.
Now age 91, Hauptman lives in Buffalo with his wife of 67 years, and continues his work at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. He also serves as a Research Professor in the Department of Biophysical Sciences at the University at Buffalo
The new WNED-TV production, Herbert Hauptman: Portrait of a Laureate, profiles the life and career of this visionary researcher.
Produced by WNED Senior Producer Paul Lamont, the documentary portrays both the scientist and the man, reflecting on the significance of Hauptman’s professional contributions as well as his love for music, family and the beauty of mathematics.
“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.”
From the Producer of “Portrait of a Laureate”
“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. He is, without a doubt, the most logical and analytical person I’ve ever met. He’s perhaps the most sincere and down-to-earth person also. And that’s what I wanted to bring out in the film -- the real man.
“If you begin to peel away the math and science, who is the man? A person’s life is really nothing more than a string of often unrelated events. That’s how I approached this film -- as a series of snapshots which when looked at individually might not tell you much. But when you look at them as a whole, the picture of a man emerges. I think people will walk away after watching this film and feel like they know who Herbert Hauptman is.
“It’s astounding to me to think that someone can spend nearly four decades working on a single problem as he did. The sense of dedication, of focus and the ability to balance his family life with that passion and drive -- how can you walk away and not have respect for someone that can do that?”
― Paul Lamont
Major funding provided by:
- Independent Health
- University at Buffalo Academic Health Center
- University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
- James H. Cummings Foundation
Additional support provided by:
- The Baird Foundation
- Peter C. Cornell Trust
- Gelia Wells & Mohr
- M&T Charitable Foundation
- The John R. Oishei Foundation
- Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
- Members of WNED