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Alan Rembaum, JPL Researcher, Is Dead at 70

Alan Rembaum of Pasadena, an international authority on polymer chemistry and long-time researcher for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has died after a long illness. He was 70.

During his 24 years with JPL, he was awarded 52 patents, more than twice as many as any other scientist working there. He was a lecturer at Caltech from 1967 to 1978.

Rembaum recently was presented with the coveted NASA Career Award in recognition of his scientific and technological achievements. He also was a two-time winner of the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award--in 1968 for his work in polymer synthesis and in 1984 for his contributions to the application of polymeric microspheres in biology and medicine.

He and his JPL team also developed the first solid-state lithium-iodine battery, now widely used in cardiac pacemaker devices.

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Rembaum’s recent work with polymeric microspheres employed microscopically small latex particles as “smart bombs” to seek out and separate cancer cells from normal cells, providing a new form of cancer therapy.

He published several research and scientific textbooks and more than 200 papers in scientific journals. His latest book, “Microspheres: Medical and Biological Application,” is due for publication soon.

Born in Ciechanow, Poland, Rembaum served with the Polish armed forces from 1939 to 1942. He was a graduate of the University of Lyon, France, and took his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1955.

Rembaum died June 12. Burial was at Mount Sinai Memorial Park.

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