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Franklin Hutchinson dies at age 77; was renowned for work in radiology

A memorial service was held in Battell Chapel on Oct. 31 for Franklin Hutchinson III, one of the nation's leading scientists in radiology and a longtime Yale faculty member, who died Oct. 24 in New Haven. He was 77 years old.

Mr. Hutchinson was professor emeritus at the School of Medicine and senior research scientist in the departments of radiology and of molecular physics and biochemistry.

For many years, Professor Hutchinson had conducted research on the biological effects of radiation. He also was interested in using very high-resolution microscopy to study the structure of biological molecules. He published more than 60 scientific papers and presented his research at national and international scientific meetings.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Professor Hutchinson received his B.S. in 1942 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in physics from Yale in 1948. He was a staff member of the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1942-45; there, he worked to develop radar technology for the military. He held three patents in microwave electronics.

He joined the Yale faculty as an instructor in biophysics and radiology in 1948, devoting much of his time to a study of the physics problems involved in treating cancer with X-rays and radium. He became assistant professor of physics in 1951, associate professor of biophysics in 1957 and professor of biophysics in 1960.

Known as "Hutch" to his colleagues, he was one of the original members of a small group of biophysicists that emerged in the physics department under the leadership of Professor Ernest C. Pollard in 1948. When the biophysics department was organized in 1954, he was one of the charter members, and chaired the department 1960-63 and 1967-69.

Professor Hutchinson retired in 1990, but continued his research in mutagenesis as part of a radiology laboratory at the School of Medicine up until the time of his death.

Professor Hutchinson chaired the Committee on Education, and served as a counsel for the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics. He was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Atomic Bomb and Casualty Commission and chair of the Division of Biophysics, American Physical Society. He also was a consultant in radiology for Yale-New Haven Hospital and Hartford Hospital.

He was a member of the Biophysical Society, Radiation Research Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1963-1964, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to conduct research at King's College, London. He also received the Charles Coffin Fellowship.

A fellow of Jonathan Edwards College, Professor Hutchinson played the French horn and was an active member of the New Haven Civic Orchestra and other local music groups.

Professor Hutchinson was the widower of Edith Pringle Hutchinson. He leaves a daughter, Candace H. Chant of Leadville, Colorado; three sons, Bruce Hutchinson of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Franklin Hutchinson IV of New Haven and Alexander Hutchinson of Bethany; a brother, Chapman Hutchinson of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; a sister, Elizabeth Hutchinson of Hamden; and six grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made in Professor Hutchinson's name to the New Haven Civic Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 2015, New Haven, CT 06521.

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