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Celebrating Mass Spectrometry at Purdue


Writer(s): Steve Scherer


In June, the Department of Chemistry celebrated Purdue's rich history and continued innovation in mass spectrometry.

The special event involved a mixture of presentations from prominent members of the mass spectrometry community, discussion of the future of the technology, laboratory tours, demonstrations, and a reunion of Aston Labs alumni.

Professor R. Graham Cooks organized the celebration along with a team of colleagues and students.

“On behalf of the mass spectrometry community, many thanks the College of Science, the Department of Chemistry and our industrial partners Tymora Analytical Operations, LLC, Thermo Scientific, Prosolia, Beckman Coulter, Purspec, FLIR, Indigo, BASi, and Waters for supporting an exceptional symposium by some of the leaders in the field,” said Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Carol Robinson, professor of chemistry at the University of Oxford: Robinson is the first female professor of chemistry at the University of Oxford. She is best known for studying the 3-D structures of protein complexes as well as recent work on interactions of small molecules.
  • Helmut Schwarz, professor of chemistry at Technische Universität Berlin: Schwarz is a highly cited chemist who has received a myriad of awards. His research interests include gas-phase organometallic chemistry, catalysis, bond activation, reactivity and other topics in physical and theoretical organic chemistry.
  • Donald Hunt, professor of chemistry and pathology at the University of Virginia: Hunt is widely regarded as the founder of the field of proteomics. His research interests include the development of methods and instrumentation for structural characterization of proteins as well as post-translational modifications.

“The audience on Friday afternoon sat without a break for more than three hours of deeply fascinating and erudite lectures, and hundreds of former students returned to campus for an exceptionally productive and good time,” added Cooks.

Other speakers included researchers in mass spectrometry, gas-phase chemistry, thermodynamics, physical chemistry, chemical kinetics, proteomics, and theoretical and physical organic chemistry.

Dr. Cooks acknowledges the participation of College of Science Interim Dean Craig Svensson and Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships Suresh Garimella, as well departmental leaders Christine Hrycyna and Timothy Zwier.

Photography by Tianyang Guo

Featured Speakers

Dame Carol Robinson (Oxford), Jean Futrell (PNNL), Chris Enke (U. New Mexico), Graham Cooks, Helmut Schwarz (Tech. U Berlin)

Mass Spec Demo

One of the several lab demonstrations.

Lecture Hall

Nearly three hundred attended the featured lectures in the Class of '50 Hall.