Professor Claudio Alvarez-Tostado was known as a dedicated educator and protein and inorganic chemist, with strong interests in electronics as well as music and literature. Possessing a deep knowledge of solid-state electronics, he designed and built analytical instrumentation that greatly benefitted his colleagues in the Department of Chemistry, and for many years taught a course in electronic equipment for research. He spent much of his liesure time exploring high-fidelity audio, and English and Spanish literature.
Born on June 4, 1912, in Durango, Mexico, Professor Alvarez-Tostado grew up in Nogales, Arizona, and completed bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Arizona. He performed his doctoral studies at Stanford (PhD 1939) under Professor J. W. McBain, characterizing changes in serum proteins in newborn calves. He maintained an interest in protein chemistry throughout his career, though his later work focused in inorganic chemistry, particularly that of silicon. In 1943, after several years as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Santa Clara, he returned to Stanford as lecturer (1943-44) then assistant professor (1944-46), before teaching in the Physical Sciences Program. He became Professor of Chemistry and Physical Sciences in 1958, and Physical Sciences Chair from 1972 until his retirement in 1977.