In the Spotlight: 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.
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.
Morel Receives Dickson Prize in Science
Dr. Francois M. M. Morel, the Albert G. Blanke, Jr., Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University, and an Advisor to the Dreyfus Foundation since 2010, has been awarded the 2012 Dickson Prize in Science from Carnegie Mellon University. The prize is awarded annually to the person judged to have made the most progress in the natural sciences, engineering, computer science, or mathematics in the United States for the year in question. "Francois Morel has been a world leader in the fields of water chemistry and chemical oceanography since the early 1970s, and a pioneer in advancing the understanding of dissolved metal interactions with phytoplankton and other organisms at the base of the aquatic ecosystem," said David A. Dzombak, the Walter J. Blenko Sr. University Professor of Environmental Engineering and director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research at CMU. The award includes $50,000, a bronze medal, and the Dickson Prize Lecture.
Marye Anne Fox Received 2012 Othmer Gold Medal
Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Othmer Gold Medal. The Othmer Medal is given by the Chemical Heritage Foundation to honor individuals who have made multifaceted contributions to chemical and scientific heritage through outstanding activity in areas such as innovation, entrepreneurship, research education, public understanding, legislation, or philanthropy. The medal will be presented to Chancellor Fox on April 12 at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. Chancellor Fox has served on the Foundation Board since 2002 and is Chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee.
Tobin Marks, recipient of the 2011 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences
Tobin J. Marks, the Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry, and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, is the recipient of the 2011 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, conferred this year in catalysis. Marks was cited for the development of major new industrial catalysts and the fundamental understanding of their chemical structures and mechanisms of action. The prize, given biennially by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, recognizes exceptional and original research in a selected area of chemistry that has advanced the field in major ways. The prize consists of a monetary award of $250,000 – one of the largest awards dedicated to the chemical sciences in the U.S. – a citation and a medal. The award ceremony will be held at Northwestern University in the fall and will include a lecture by Tobin Marks.
Catalysts accelerate the creation of molecules or materials without being consumed. This process, called catalysis, is widespread in chemistry and essential to all living organisms. Catalysis ranges in scope from the actions of enzymes in biology to enabling the synthesis of therapeutic drugs to the production of coatings, fertilizers, and plastics on a huge scale. Catalysis underlies many aspects of the energy industry and makes the creation of new materials practical.
Marks has been a world leader in the understanding and development of new catalysts that enable the production of recyclable, environmentally friendly, and sustainably produced plastics and elastomeric materials. His research has resulted in a far deeper understanding of the requirements to make and break specific chemical bonds, thus giving scientists the ability to design new catalytic processes. His work has directly led to multi-billion dollar industrial processes. Marks has also demonstrated how metals from unusual parts of the periodic table, such as the rare earth elements, can be used as efficient catalysts with minimal formation of undesired by-products. Enormous savings in energy and scarce resources have been directly attributed to the fundamental knowledge and processes that have resulted from Marks’s catalysis research.
“I am delighted and humbled to receive this recognition from the Dreyfus Foundation, which honors the research that my students, colleagues, and I together have accomplished. Over the years, the Dreyfus Foundation has played a key role in promoting the chemical enterprise and in helping new university faculty launch their careers in research and education. Indeed, as a junior faculty member, I was thankful to receive a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award at a critical time,” said Tobin Marks. “The coming decades will present mankind with technical challenges threatening our quality of life. I believe that chemistry offers defining concepts and tools, and hence limitless opportunities, to better human life in many ways.”
Henry C. Walter, President of the Dreyfus Foundation, said, “I believe the Dreyfus brothers – chemists, inventors, and businessmen – would be very pleased that we honor Tobin Marks. He has generated much value to society with innovative chemistry research, which reflects the Dreyfus Foundation charter.”
Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, and Chair of the Dreyfus Scientific Affairs Committee, noted, “Tobin’s accomplishments are extraordinarily diverse and profound. More efficient and greener science-based catalytic processes are essential to sustaining our environment.”
Tobin Marks holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from MIT. He has been on the Northwestern faculty since 1970. His research accomplishments have been recognized worldwide. From the United States these include the nation’s highest scientific honors, the U.S. National Medal of Science, and election into the National Academy of Sciences. From the American Chemical Society he has received the Arthur K. Doolittle Award in Polymeric Material Science and Engineering, the Award in Organometallic Chemistry, the Award in Inorganic Chemistry, the Award in the Chemistry of Materials, and the Arthur Cope Senior Scholar Award in Organic Chemistry. He has received many international awards, for example, from Portugal, the UK, Germany, Israel, Spain, and India.
Matthew Tirrell Awarded 2012 APS Polymer Physics Prize
Matthew V. Tirrell, Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and member of the Dreyfus Foundation Board of Directors, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Polymer Physics Prize from the American Physical Society. Tirrell is awarded the prize “for his pioneering achievements in the areas of polymer dynamics, polymers at surfaces and interfaces, and polymers in confined geometries.” The prize, which is sponsored by Dow Chemical Co., will be presented at the APS March meeting in Boston.
Marye Anne Fox Awarded 2010 National Medal of Science
Marye Anne Fox, chancellor of University of California, San Diego, is a recipient of the 2010 National Medal of Science, to be presented at the White House in November. She has been chosen for this honor "for seminal contributions to chemistry by elucidating the role that non-homogeneous environments can exert on excited-state processes, and enhancing our understanding of charge-transfer reactions and their application to such fields as polymers, solar energy conversion, and nanotechnology."
"It’s a great honor to receive this prestigious recognition, and I am humbled and proud that the contributions made by my research group have advanced organic chemistry," said Fox. "I was fortunate to have had brilliant and hardworking graduate students who focused on fundamental principles that were later translated into practical use in solar energy conversion, environmental remediation and material science. I truly believe that important developments in science and science education are vital for the future of this nation."
Dr. Fox is a member of the Dreyfus Foundation Board of Directors and chairs its Scientific Affairs Committee.
New Lectureship Award Program for Undergraduate Institutions
The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation announces the establishment of a new program, the Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions. The Lectureship provides an $18,500 grant for a primarily undergraduate institution to bring in a leading researcher to give a series of lectures in the chemical sciences. The lecturer is expected to substantially interact with undergraduate students and faculty over the period of the visit. The program provides funds to host the speaker and support summer research for two undergraduate students.
Dr. Mark Cardillo, Executive Director of the Dreyfus Foundation, stated, "The Dreyfus Foundation has long supported undergraduate research as an important part of chemistry education. Further, it has worked to increase the general interest in the chemical sciences. With this program both goals are advanced." Three awards will be made per year. The deadline for this year's program is August 17, 2010.
Related link: http://dreyfus.org
"Create a Chemical Reaction" Featured at Museum of Science and Industry
"Science Storms," a dramatic large-scale permanent exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, opened to the public on March 18, 2010. Science Storms includes an interactive four-story tornado, a large avalanche simulator, and other attractive physical science exhibits. Among the exhibits is "Create a Chemical Reaction," two interactive tables where visitors may generate virtual atoms by placing one out of a pool of discs on any element in an illuminated periodic table. These virtual elements may be brought together in an adjacent reaction zone to produce one of over 300virtual chemical reactions. For example discs that become virtual hydrogen and oxygen can be combined in the reaction zone to create water, with attractive explanatory visuals highlighting aspects ofthe "created" elements and resulting compounds. The table suggests chemicalreactions you might want to try.
"Create a Chemical Reaction" was developed through support from the Dreyfus Foundation's Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences.
A YouTube video featuring "Create a Chemical Reaction"
Museum of Science and Industry online descriptions of "Create a Chemical Reaction" and
Symposium in Materials Chemistry at the March 2010 ACS meeting
Some of the nation's leading materials chemists presented their work at the Presidential Symposium "Frontiers in Materials Chemistry: A Tribute to the Dreyfus Brothers," at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 23.
Frontiers in Materials Chemistry: A Tribute to the Dreyfus Brothers
Matthew Tirrell and Mark Cardillo, Organizers, Presiding
Joseph S. Francisco, ACS President
Matthew Tirrell, University of California, Berkeley
Tobin Marks, Northwestern University
New materials and processes for constructing highly unconventional organic, inorganic, and organometallic electronic circuitry
Joanna Aizenberg, Harvard University
Advanced materials for mitigation of ice accretion
Omar Yaghi, University of California, Los Angeles
Metal-organic frameworks and the 'gene' for carbon capture
Robert Cava, Princeton University
Stoichiometry, structure and bonding in the new iron pnictide superconductors
A. Paul Alivisatos, University of California, Berkeley
Nanoscale materials for solar fuel generation
David Tirrell, California Institute of Technology
Reinterpreting the genetic code
C. Grant Willson, University of Texas at Austin
Organic materials for microelectronics: a view of the future
John A. Rogers, University of Illinois
Materials for bio-integrated electronics
George Whitesides, Harvard University
Organic materials science