News Briefs

Spotlight: Dreyfus Prize Ceremony Honors Graham Cooks

Graham Cooks was awarded the 2013 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences at Purdue University on September 24, 2013. Cooks’s talk, “Measuring Molecules: Grocery Stores, Doctors’ Offices, Crime Scenes, Operating Rooms, and Factory Floors,” included a live demonstration of the portable mass spectrometer that he developed (picture).  A video of the entire Ceremony is available HERE.

 

Louis Brus Selected Advisor

Louis E. Brus, S. L. Mitchell Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University, has been selected to serve as an Advisor to the Foundation, with his term to begin in April 2014.  Dr. Brus is a world-renowned chemist who is widely credited with pioneering the field of nanoscience with his research on semiconductor nanocrystals. He joins David Hansen of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges, Francois Morel of Princeton University, and JoAnne Stubbe of Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Advisor.

 

R. Graham Cooks Wins 2013 Dreyfus Prize

Purdue chemist honored for advances in chemical instrumentation

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has announced that R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University, is the recipient of the 2013 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences. The international prize, awarded biennially, consists of $250,000, a citation, and a medal. The award ceremony will be held at Purdue University in the fall and will feature a lecture by Professor Cooks. A video of the Award Ceremony is available HERE.

Graham Cooks is recognized internationally as an innovative giant in the field of mass spectrometry who has enriched analytical chemistry in unparalleled ways. Virtually every pharmaceutical and biotechnology company relies on mass spectrometry at a level that has become possible, in part, through Cooks's innovations.

Mass spectrometry is the science of accurately determining the masses of molecules in a sample from which we can learn the elemental composition of each constituent molecule. Cooks advanced this analytical capability with the introduction of tandem mass spectrometry in which selected ions generated from complex mixtures are further fragmented and the masses of the fragment ions determined. By putting together these pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, a picture emerges of the molecular structure of the parent ion. Cooks has also made groundbreaking advances in ambient desorption/ionization in which ions from a sample at room-temperature in air are introduced into the mass spectrometer for analysis, removing many of the difficulties associated with sample preparation and volatilization in previous, complex mass spectrometric techniques.

In a remarkable accomplishment, Cooks and colleagues have recently created miniature mass spectrometers, enabling the remote deployment of these analytical instruments including under battery power. Mass spectrometers, once roughly as large as an automobile, are now reduced to the size of a shoebox, allowing their widespread use in clinics, homeland security, the military, and food safety. Cooks noted, "We are trying to take powerful and sophisticated instruments out of the lab and into the real environment where, for example, they could monitor fresh produce all along the supply chain, from production to the consumers. This technology has the capability of testing for bacteria in only a matter of minutes as opposed to hours or even days for standard laboratory tests."

Cooks described the Dreyfus Prize as a major career highlight. "I am particularly pleased that the Dreyfus Foundation chose chemical instrumentation as the topic of the prize," Cooks stated, "because it is an emphatic recognition of the importance of instrumentation in the chemical sciences."

Henry C. Walter, President of the Dreyfus Foundation, said, "Chemical instrumentation has shaped human life in a myriad of positive ways. Graham Cooks is a consummate innovator and it is a great pleasure to recognize him with the third Dreyfus Prize."

Richard N. Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University and a Board member of the Dreyfus Foundation, remarked, "Mass spectrometry has had an extraordinary impact on modern science, and Graham Cooks has changed the field in many important ways. He has developed critical new experimental instruments and methods and applied them to solve significant problems." 

R. Graham Cooks received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Natal, South Africa, and a second Ph.D. from Cambridge University. He has been at Purdue University since 1971. He is the recipient of many honors. These include the American Chemical Society awards in Chemical Instrumentation, Mass Spectrometry, Analytical Chemistry, and the F.A Cotton Award. He has been recognized internationally with both the Robert Boyle Medal and the Centennial Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

 

Foundation News

Morel Receives Dickson Prize in Science

Marye Anne Fox Received 2012 Othmer Gold Medal

Matthew Tirrell Awarded 2012 APS Polymer Physics Prize

Marye Anne Fox Awarded 2010 National Medal of Science

New Lectureship Award Program for Undergraduate Institutions

Matthew Tirrell Joins Dreyfus Board, Named Founding Director of Chicago Institute of Molecular Engineering

Morel Receives ACS Award in Environmental Science & Technology

Richard Zare Joins Board of Directors

Dreyfus Foundation Names New Advisors

JoAnne Stubbe Wins 2010 Welch Award

John Tully Awarded Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry

George Whitesides accepts inaugural Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences

Henry C. Walter elected President of Board of Directors, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

A Dreyfus Foundation Symposium on Environmental Chemistry Research

 

Grantee News

"Create a Chemical Reaction" Featured at Museum of Science and Industry

Symposium in Materials Chemistry at the March 2010 ACS meeting

The Efficient Extraction of Carbon Dioxide from Ambient Air

"Can Chemistry Help Fuel Our Future?" at Museum of Science, Boston

"Chemistry Matters" Videos on Nobelprize.org

Tufts Chemistry Department Engages in Outreach to Local Schools

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Press Releases

2013 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences

2012 Dreyfus Foundation newsletter

2011 Dreyfus Foundation newsletter

2011 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences

2010 Dreyfus Foundation newsletter

2009 Dreyfus Foundation newsletter

2009 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences

2008 Dreyfus Foundation newsletter

Innovative Science Education Web Site Inspires Kids with Online Tools, Mentoring

Catalyst Program Brings Together Young Super-Chemists and Masters in the Field