Peter Wade was born on November 12, 1946, in Taunton, Massachusetts. He attended public schools in Pinellas Park, Florida, and Taunton, Massachusetts, graduating from high school in 1964. As an eighth grader, Peter appeared as a contestant on the television program “Science Countdown 1960,” making a connection with Lowell Tech –now University of Massachusetts, Lowell– sponsors of the program. He studied chemistry at Lowell Tech, graduating in 1968, and then attended Purdue University working with Nathan Kornblum on SRN1 chemical reactions. After graduating with a PhD in 1973, Peter went on to do postdoctoral work in aluminum cyclobutene sigma complexes with Hepke Hogeveen at the Rijksuniversiteit, Groningen, the Netherlands.
In 1974, Peter returned to the US and continued postdoctoral work in total synthesis of erythromycin at Harvard University, working with the Nobel laureate Robert Woodward. After completing postdoctoral work in 1976, Peter became an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Drexel University, where he rose through the ranks. He served as Department Head of Chemistry from 2003-2006 and as Chemistry and Biology Liaison with the Goodwin College of Professional Studies from 2000-2009.
During his career, Peter has coauthored 63 research publications and he continues to be actively engaged in published research. In addition, he is the author of two book chapters, one US patent, and one book review. He has mentored 11 PhD, 17 MSc, and 31 BS students at Drexel. His research has received over $300,000 in external funding.
As an Emeritus Professor, Peter has struck out in a new research direction. He is looking at the chemistry of cyclic β-hydroxy- α-nitrosulfones, compounds that mimic aldose sugars. Conceivably, scientists can use this research to construct unnatural sugars with significant potential for the benefit of humanity. Since 2005, Peter has served multiple times as an on-site external reviewer for chemistry programs in the United Arab Emirates. Notably, for more than 30 years, the Nobel Committee for Chemistry of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has annually solicited the names of Nobel Prize nominees from Peter.
Peter is the founding president of the IceWorks Skating Club in Aston, PA.