Young ‘mad scientist’ to honored chemist
As a youngster, Don Matteson was known among his friends as a bit of a mad scientist. Encouraged by his high-school-biology-teaching father, Matteson cooked up lead alloys, brewed gooey rubber and distilled alcohol from home-canned jars of plums gone bad.
Years later, as a chemistry professor at WSU supervising his first graduate student, he was intrigued by an unexpected boron-based product in one of their experiments. That one “mistake” would lead him on a life-long journey and ultimately to the development of an important cancer treatment that is today saving lives around the world.