AAVSO Observer Code
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Full Name
Kevin Alton
Cedar Knolls, NJ, US
Background/Interesting Fact
After celebrating 40 years in pharmaceutical research (Sept 2010), the last seven as the Senior Director of a Drug Metabolism Group, the inward call for more personal time echoed so strongly that I decided to retire from my position and pursue star gazing and travel on a more regular basis. A bit of background about myself follows. Although born in the Bay State, I have lived in NJ for nearly six decades where I attended public school in the Somerville-Bridgewater area. I was awarded a bachelor's degree in chemistry/physics from Kean University and an MS degree in analytical chemistry from Seton Hall University. My curriculum vitae includes more than 90 scientific journal articles, meeting abstracts, or book chapters covering analytical methods employed for the detection, quantitation and characterization of drugs in biological matrices, as well as the definitive metabolic disposition of many market-leading drugs. In addition, my name appears as the co‑inventor on at least six patent applications held by Schering Corporation (now Merck).

In 2006 along with two other colleagues, I was honored with the Discoverer's Award from PhRMA, the most prestigious scientific tribute given by this pharmaceutical trade organization. The associated research spanning more than 10 years began with the discovery of the active agent in Zetia, a cholesterol absorption inhibitor which is marketed as a breakthrough drug to treat hyperlipidemia. In 2007, a life-time of scientific accomplishment and community service were rewarded with an honorary Doctor of Laws from Kean University.

Never too far from my love for nature and science, I can be found outside on many dark, clear evenings imaging a long list of astronomical objects. Any image or data from photometric research on an assortment of variable star systems and asteroids is available by request to the public through this website ( or in some cases as publications in a variety of astronomy journals. During the daylight hours I can often be found photographing flowers, listening to music on a reference two-channel system, or tending to two modern muscle-cars that have been heavily modified for show.

Website URL
CHOICE Courses Completed
Advanced AstroImageJ for Exoplanet Observing 2024-03-11