September 22, 2008

Two Purdue professors to discuss their research

Scott A. McLuckey
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Two Purdue University researchers in chemistry and bioscience will present this year's McCoy Distinguished Lectures on Tuesday (Sept. 23).

Scott A. McLuckey, John A. Leighty Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, will speak on "Ion/Ion Reactions in the Gas Phase: New Chemistry for Bioanalysis" at 1:30 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. Richard J. Kuhn, Gerald and Edna Mann Director of the Bioscience Center at Discovery Park Bindley and professor and head of the Department of Biological Sciences, will speak on "Pursuing Dengue Virus: A 21st Century Scourge" at 3:30 p.m.

There will be a joint reception from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Stewart Center's Art Gallery. The lectures and reception are free and open to the public.

McLuckey and Kuhn are winners of the 2008 Herbert Newby McCoy Award, presented annually to a Purdue student or faculty member for outstanding contributions to science. The award was established in 1964 in memory of McCoy, a Purdue alumnus of the Department of Chemistry. The winner is nominated by colleagues and selected by faculty representatives and the university president.

Richard Kuhn
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The advent of ionization methods that enable the formation of ions derived from large bio-molecules has revolutionized the practice of analytical mass spectrometry, which is making key contributions to modern biology research. McLuckey's lecture will relate those developments with emphasis on ion/ion reactions involving multiple charged ions, a class of chemical reactions being pioneered at Purdue.

The flaviviruses are an important group of human pathogens that are found worldwide. They include members such as hepatitis C, yellow fever virus, West Nile virus and dengue virus. Kuhn will present a description of the dengue virus life cycle in molecular detail and the use of this information for developing new intervention strategies.

McLuckey earned his doctorate degree in analytical chemistry from Purdue in 1982. He was a visiting scientist at the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter's Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam. He joined the Analytical Chemistry Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow in 1983. He became head of the analytical spectroscopy section in 1990. In 1999, he was named the laboratory's scientist of the year.

He returned to Purdue in 2000 to become a professor of chemistry. He was recently elected vice president of programs for the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, which is followed by a two-year term as president of the society.

Kuhn's research in the field of virology and the mechanism of virus infections has aided internationally in the prevention of infections caused by such diseases as encephalitis, yellow fever, epidemic polyarthritis, dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever and West Nile virus. Structural biology laboratories at Purdue and elsewhere have used Kuhn's expertise in X-ray crystallographic and electron microscope studies of viruses and macromolecular structures.

Kuhn received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his doctorate in molecular biology from the same university in 1986. He worked as a senior research fellow at the California Institute of Technology before joining Purdue's Department of Biological Sciences in 1991. He is a university faculty scholar and is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Herbert Newby McCoy earned a bachelor's degree and a mater's degree in chemistry from Purdue in 1892 and 1893, respectively. He earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1898. He served as president of Carnotite Reduction Co. and vice president of Lindsay Light and Chemical Co. McCoy also served on the faculty of North Dakota State University, the University of Utah and the University of Chicago. He died in 1945.

Writer: Clyde Hughes, (765) 494-2073,

Sources:   Scott A. McLuckey, (765) 494-5270,

Richard J. Kuhn, (765) 494-1164,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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