Professor Nafie from Syracuse University to Receive Wiley-Pittcon Spectroscopy Award 2013

Laurence A. Nafie, Syracuse University, will receive the 2013 Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award presented by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP).

The SSP Award, established in 1957, honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions in the field of spectroscopy.

This mini-virtual event will comprise a brief 5-10 minute video which will show Professor Nafie being presented with his Award at Pittcon on Tuesday, March 19. This will be followed by a live 30-40 minute presentation (PowerPoint and live video-feed) of Prof. Nafie giving the presentation that he gave at his Award Ceremony. Online users will then have the opportunity to put live questions to Professor Nafie in a Q&A session at the end of this presentation.

Both IR and Raman forms of vibrational optical activity (VOA) were discovered experimentally nearly 40 years ago. The IR form is vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) and the Raman form is Raman optical activity (ROA). For the first 20 years of VOA, VCD and ROA passed through a period of gradual growth spearheaded by a few academic laboratories. Then in mid-1990s two developments occurred for VCD, followed a few years later for ROA. These were the commercial availability of instrumentation for measurements and software for calculations.

The comparison of measured and calculated VOA yields new insights into the absolute structure and conformation of chiral molecules. In the past 15 to 20 years VOA has undergone a period of rapid growth and maturation. Hundreds of scientists in both academic laboratories and pharmaceutical companies now use VOA on a regular basis to explore its depth of molecular information and to solve stereochemistry problems of practical importance. Academic labs use VOA primarily to determine the conformation of biological molecules and to explore the effects of solvents and anharmonicity using computed VOA.

Pharmaceutical companies use VOA to determine the absolute configuration of new chiral drug substances and to probe the higher order structure of biopharmaceutical molecules. In this presentation, the extent of the routine use of VCD to determine absolute configuration of pharmaceutical and natural product molecules will be described as well as the use of VCD to reveal the underlying supramolecular chiral structure of amyloid fibrils of interest in relation to the incidence of neurological diseases.

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