This endowment honors Ernest Polak, an enthusiastic investigator and supporter of the chemical senses, first through his family’s flavors and fragrances business, PWF Inc., and later through numerous collaborations with scientists around the world. Born in 1921 in Holland, he moved to New York City in 1939 to work at PFW Inc. He also attended Columbia University and Brooklyn Polytech and later earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry from NYU. He earned his M.S. degree in Chemistry from Iowa State University in 1944 and then moved back to the east coast to work as a researcher at Hoffman LaRoche in NJ.
A chemist whose career focused on olfaction, Ernest Polak promoted research in the chemical sciences through both personal involvement and financial support. He made many significant discoveries and produced thousands of important compounds during his lifetime.
The Ernst Polak Scholarship endowment was established in the Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Molecular & Cellular Biology for graduate student fellowships, professorships, endowed chairs, awards, or technician salaries.