Jens Thuroe Carstensen

MONONA, Wis. – Jens Thuroe Carstensen died on July 10, 2013, after a long illness.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York, but after the age of three grew up in Denmark. He was a member of the Danish Resistance (Holger Danske, Ringen) and was arrested by the Gestapo in early January of 1945. He was imprisoned in the concentration camps at Dachau and Neuengamme until liberated by Folke Bernadotte and repatriated in May of 1945.

He served in the U.S. Army in Germany from June of 1946 to January of 1948 and was honorably discharged with the rank of T/5 (then equivalent to Corporal).

Jens received his chemical engineering degree at Denmark’s Technical University in 1950, and received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1967. He worked at American Cyanamid Company and at Hoffmann la Roche, then joined the University of Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy in 1967. He became a full professor in 1971, and stayed as such until his retirement in 1995. He spent a sabbatical year at L’Universite de Paris Sud in 1977-78.

Over the course of his esteemed career, Jens helped shape the fundamentals of pharmaceutical chemistry throughout the world, singly authoring eight influential textbooks and writing over 200 articles in reviewed journals.

In 2011, one of Jens’ former students, Mahendra Patel (M.S. ’74, Ph.D. ’78), and his wife, Jayshree, made a lead gift to establish the Jens Carstensen Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy. They were joined by former business colleague E. Thomas Arington and other friends and former students who made gifts to build this to the Distinguished Chair level.

The Jens Carstensen Distinguished Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences honors and recognizes Professor Carstensen’s extraordinary contributions to the School of Pharmacy, to his students, and to pharmaceutical sciences.

Aside from his scientific career, Jens was a noted landscape painter, and his work is represented by the Jura Silverman Gallery in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and by the Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery in Michigamme, Michigan.

Jens Carstensen leaves his devoted wife, Catherine Gene Karr, three children (Peter, Poul, Vibeke), seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.