2013 Nakamoto Lecture - Friday, April 19, 2013, 4:00 p.m. TWC 121
The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Nakamoto Lecturer Prof. Thomas Meyer, Arey Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, will present "Finding the Way to Solar Fuels" on Friday, April 19, 2013.
Thomas J. Meyer rejoined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Arey Professor of Chemistry on July 1, 2005. He is Director of the UNC Energy Frontier Research Center on Solar Fuels and Chief Scientist of the Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute. In 2000 he was named Associate Director for Strategic Research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. In that position, he oversaw research in support of nuclear weapons, threat reduction, and energy and environmental programs and was the LANL lead for economic development, intellectual property, and DOE programs in Science, Energy Efficiency and Renewables, and Nuclear Energy. From 1994 to 1999, he was Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research at UNC-CH where he oversaw a graduate and professional student program of over 8000 students and a research portfolio of > $300 million. He led planning efforts that resulted in campus wide initiatives in genomics and bioinformatics, Arts Carolina, The Center for the Study of the American South, and others, enhanced graduate student support from the State of North Carolina and, the UNC Science Complex and other campus construction projects.
Kazuo Nakamoto was born in Kobe, Japan. He received his B.S. and D.Sc. from Osaka University and remained at Osaka as a member of the faculty for an additional four years, except for the two years which he spent at Iowa State University working in the laboratory of Robert E. Rundle as a Fulbright Scholar. In 1958 he joined the faculty at Clark University, moving to Illinois Institute of Technology in 1961 and in 1969 he became the first Wehr Professor of Chemistry at Marquette University.
Professor Nakamoto directed the research of more than 85 graduate students and postdoctoral associates and published more than 210 papers and 15 review articles. He was a pioneer in the use of metal isotopes to elucidate the involvement of metals in low frequency vibrations in metallic complexes, a discovery that helped fuel the rapid growth in the developing field of bioinorganic chemistry. He then turned his attention to biological problems and began a vigorous research program dealing with heme-related compounds. He was also amongst the first to use matrix isolation techniques to prepare and characterize unstable species, including the biologically relevant ferryl heme complexes, an important intermediate in many oxidative heme enzymes. His interest also included DNA and the process of intercalation. Using oligonucleotides synthesized to include specific sequences, he established criteria that can be used to deduce the site specificity of these compounds. He was able to differentiate between exterior (groove) binding and interior (intercalation) binding through careful vibrational analysis.
In keeping with his life-long interest in communicating the excitement of science, he authored several influential texts in the field of spectroscopy, including his very famous 2-volume work on Infrared and Raman Spectra of Inorganic and Coordination Compounds, the sixth edition of which was issued in 2009, and in 2008 coauthored a new book entitled Drug-DNA Interactions: Structures and Spectra. Remarkably, his passion for science and dedication to accomplishment were clearly manifested, even up to the final weeks of his life, as he was continually pondering new points to include in planned future editions of his books. In spite of his great scientific success, he remained a genuinely modest man who will long be missed by the many of us who knew and admired him.
Previous Nakamoto Lecturers