May 21 – Happy Birthday Chet Opalka

opalkaChet Opalka was born in Amsterdam on this date in 1949 and grew up on Mathias Avenue. When it was time for high school, his parents decided to send him to Schenectady’s Bishop Gibbons and from there, he went to Niagara University, where he graduated in 1970 with a BS degree in Chemistry. He accepted a position as a research chemist at Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceutical Laboratories in East Greenbush, where he worked for the next two decades. It was while with Sterling Winthrop that Opalka co-invented the drug Inocur, which is used to treat congestive heart failure.

In 1991, Opalka teamed up with a co-worker at Sterling named Thomas D’Ambra and started a new company called…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam-native in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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