LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is grieving the loss of a longtime professor and leader in the Department of Chemistry. Craig Lunte, 57, died April 13 at his home in Lawrence.
“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Craig Lunte,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said. “Craig was one of our most accomplished researchers, an outstanding mentor to many aspiring chemists and a terrific colleague. On behalf of the entire KU community, I offer my sympathy to the family, friends, colleagues and students whose lives he touched.”
Lunte was a leader in the development, calibration and pharmaceutical application of microdialysis sampling, especially the study of transdermal drug delivery and other translational uses of the technique.
“Craig’s impact on the university has been monumental,” said Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor. “His dedication, involvement and scholarship speak to the passion he had for his field and for KU. We can take solace in knowing that the relationships he developed through teaching, research and mentoring will extend his influence far into the future.”
Lunte joined KU in 1987 as an assistant professor of chemistry. In 1993, he was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor. He was named full professor in 1997.
"Professor Craig Lunte was a major life-force within the Department of Chemistry,” said Brian Laird, professor and department chair. “An outstanding, successful and highly productive researcher and chair of the department for 10 years, Craig was the rare individual who could simultaneously excel as department leader while maintaining one of the most productive research efforts in the department and make it look easy. Outside the department, he had a passion for golf, and I was lucky enough to be able to spend many a sunny — and not-so-sunny — day with him on the links. We will all miss him greatly."
Among Lunte’s honors at KU were the Self Graduate Fellowship Program Mentor Achievement Award, the John C. Wright Graduate Mentor Award and the Dolph Simons Award in Biomedical Sciences, which is one of the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards.
“Craig Lunte will be deeply missed,” said Don Steeples, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. “He was a leader in his field, and his legacy will be seen for years to come in his contributions to the study of pharmaceutical efficacy, his students and their future contributions. I always enjoyed working with him on space challenges in Malott Hall. My condolences to his family and colleagues.”
Lunte is survived by his wife, Susan Lunte, the Ralph N. Adams Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and director of the Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry.
A memorial service will be 10 a.m. Friday, April 17, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Lawrence.