Samuel M. Heman-Ackah, 78, a professor of pharmacy and assistant dean at Howard University, died of a heart attack Sept. 29 at his home in Takoradi, Ghana. He also had a home in Lanham.
Dr. Heman-Ackah was assistant dean of the School of Pharmacy from 1974 to 1976 and chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Howard from 1978 to 1995. After retiring in 1995, he was named professor emeritus in the School of Pharmacy and continued to lecture and mentor students until about two years ago. During his career, he did research on microbial kinetics, how antibiotics work, combination chemotherapy, forensic pharmacy and preservative actions in emulsions and creams commonly used in the cosmetics industry. At the time of his death, he was writing a book on forensic pharmacy.
Dr. Heman-Ackah was born in Atuabo, Ghana. According to a daughter, Yolanda Heman-Ackah, he was hereditary chief of his native village, which was the ancestral home of the Nzema people, a Ghanaian tribal group.
He was a secondary-school teacher of science in Ghana before going to Nottingham University in England, where he received a bachelor's degree in pharmacy in 1954. He practiced pharmacy for two years in Great Britain and Ghana before receiving his doctorate in pharmaceutics in 1965 at the University of London.
Dr. Heman-Ackah served as associate professor and acting head of the Department of Pharmaceutics at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, from 1965 to 1969. He then became a scientist and researcher at the University of Florida. In the early 1970s, he was assistant dean for academic programs and director of the Minority Biomedical Research Support grant program at Florida A&M University.
He left Florida A&M in 1974 to come to Howard, where he served as an adviser to many of the university's African students. He held leadership positions in the Ebusua Association and the Nzema Association, both related to the interests of Africans in America; and Sojourner Kilwinning Lodge, a Washington fraternal organization.
He lived in Silver Spring for many years before moving to Lanham last year.
His marriages to Marian Heman-Ackah and Lillie Heman-Ackah ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, Gertrude Heman-Ackah of Takoradi and Lanham, whom he married in 1996; five children from his first marriage, Haydn Heman-Ackah of Springfield, Dr. Christopher Heman-Ackah, Dr. Joyce Heman-Ackah and Harriet Anoss, all of London, and Angela Sampson of Bradford, England; five children from his second marriage, Lillian Stewart of Rochester, Minn., Dr. Yolanda D. Heman-Ackah of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., Samuel Heman-Ackah II of Edgewood, Md., Selena Heman-Ackah of Minneapolis and Sabrina Heman-Ackah of Pittsburgh; and five children from other relationships, Richard Heman-Ackah of Wake Forest, N.C., Edward Heman-Ackah, Bridgett Heman-Ackah and Felicity Heman-Ackah, all of London, and Belinda Muller of Haselunne, Germany; eight sisters; two brothers; and 23 grandchildren.