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March 30, 2009
Volume 87, Number 13
pp. 51-52

Pittcon Awards 2009

Researchers receive honors for achievements in analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy

Linda Wang

ELEVEN SCIENTISTS were honored for their outstanding contributions to the fields of analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy during Pittcon 2009 in Chicago on March 8–13.


Ira W. Levin received the 2009 Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award from the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh.

Levin, who is acting scientific director of the Division of Intramural Research at the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases and chief of the Section on Molecular Biophysics at the National Institutes of Health, is at the forefront of developing spectroscopic infrared, Raman, and visible reflectance imaging instrumentation. His laboratory has provided pioneering technologies and studies in spectroscopic Fourier transform IR and Raman microimaging.

Levin is also researching the applications of vibrational IR and Raman spectroscopic techniques in elucidating the conformational, dynamical, thermodynamical, and functional properties of both intact and model membrane assemblies and related systems.

The Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh presented the 2009 Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award to Chad A. Mirkin, director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University. Mirkin is being recognized for his development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, his invention of the Dip-Pen Nanolithography technique for transferring nanoscale materials onto a substrate, and his contributions to supramolecular chemistry.

Mirkin founded the companies Nanosphere and NanoInk, which are commercializing nanotechnology applications in the life sciences and semiconductor industries.

Martin Quack, a professor of physical chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, received the 2009 Bomem-Michelson Award from the Coblentz Society. Quack's research interests are in high-resolution spectroscopy and molecular dynamics. Quack has combined Fourier transform IR and laser spectroscopic experiments with powerful quantum chemistry computation to tease out the finest details of high-resolution spectra. He is also interested in the fundamental symmetries of physics that occur in nature and lead to conservation laws and their occasional slight violations.


The 2009 Maurice F. Hasler Award was presented to Gary M. Hieftje, distinguished professor and Robert & Marjorie Mann Chair of Chemistry at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research interests include the investigation of basic mechanisms in atomic emission, absorption, fluorescence, and mass spectrometric analysis, as well as the development of instrumentation and techniques for atomic methods of analysis.

Nelson Torto, a professor of analytical chemistry at Rhodes University, in South Africa, received the 2009 Analytical Chemistry Award for Young Investigators in Separation Science. Torto's research involves the use of microdialysis for the sampling of metal ions. He demonstrated enhanced recovery of metal ions by employing chelating agents that facilitate the diffusion of analytes across the dialysis membrane. He is also developing methods for the detection and environmental monitoring of pesticides in water and sediments in regions of Southern Africa.

Charles R. Martin, the Crow Professor of Chemistry at the University of Florida, received the 2009 Charles N. Reilley Award in Electroanalytical Chemistry from the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry. In the 1980s, Martin's research group pioneered a powerful and versatile approach for preparing nanomaterials called template synthesis. The template method entails using the pores in a nanopore solid to make nanowires or nanotubes of a desired material. This method has since become a workhorse procedure for preparing nanomaterials and is used in laboratories throughout the world. Martin is now working on applications of template-prepared nanotubes and nanotube membranes to biosensors and bioseparations.


Frantisek Svec, facility director of the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, accepted the 2009 Dal Nogare Award from the Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley. Svec's research interests are in the development of new separation media in various shapes and formats for different modes of separations.

Daniel T. Chiu, professor of chemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle, received the 2009 Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Conference and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh. Chiu's research focuses on the development of new tools that combine ultrasensitive laser-based detection and manipulation methodologies with micro- and nanofabrication techniques for interfacing with biological systems at the nanometer scale. Chiu is currently a member of the Center for Nanotechnology and the Neurobiology Program at the University of Washington and a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Cancer Consortium.

The Pittsburgh Conference and the Chemical Heritage Foundation presented the 2009 Pittcon Heritage Award to Alfred R. Bader, founder of Aldrich Chemical (now Sigma-Aldrich) and owner of Alfred Bader Fine Arts. Bader and his wife, Isabel, have earned a reputation as generous benefactors, notably in the fields of chemistry, education, and Jewish interests. Bader's philanthropy has been directed at helping students of chemistry and art history.


Graham Cooks received the 2009 Ralph N. Adams Award in Bioanalytical Chemistry from the Pittsburgh Conference and the Friends of Ralph N. Adams. Cooks is the Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Purdue University. Cooks's research focuses on the construction of mass spectrometers and their use in fundamental studies and applications. His interest in minimizing sample work-up contributed to the development of ambient ionization methods, including desorption electrospray ionization.

Jerome J. Workman Jr., director of measurement systems for the firm Luminous Medical, in Carlsbad, Calif., received the 2009 Williams-Wright Award from the Coblentz Society. His research interests are in molecular spectroscopy, including near-IR, IR, ultraviolet-visible, process analysis, and chemometrics.

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ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

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