posted March 29, 2005

Nobel Prize Winner to Present Neckers Lecture

Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dr. John Fenn will present the address "Electrospray Wings for Molecular Elephants" as this year's annual Neckers Lecture at Hope College on Friday, April 8, at 4 p.m. in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall.

Refreshments will be served beginning at 3:30 p.m. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Fenn, who is a research professor in analytical chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, was one of three scientists to win the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for advances in the analytical chemistry of large biological molecules.

Fenn received his B.S. degree from Berea College and then his Ph.D. from Yale University in chemical engineering in 1940.

After working in industry, he joined the Yale faculty, teaching and conducting research in the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1967 until retiring in 1987. He continued to conduct research at Yale as a senior research scientist in chemical engineering until 1994.

During his time at Yale, Fenn did pioneering research on electrospray ionization of macromolecules. He is the author of more than 100 papers in scientific journals and of a book, and has received or co-received 19 patents. He joined the Virginia Commonwealth University faculty in 1994. He has also taught at the University of Trento in Italy, at the University of Tokyo in Japan, at a research institute in Bangalore in India and at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

The James and Jeanette Neckers Lectureship and Student Assistance Fund through which Fenn is speaking was established in 1984 by Dr. James W. and Jeanette Hoffman Neckers, members of the college's Class of 1923, to support annual lectureships in chemistry. Through additional gifts from Dr. Neckers, the fund was expanded to include student summer research stipends and student scholarships.

James Neckers was chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for 37 of his 40 years at the university. Under his leadership, the department grew from a three-year offering in chemistry to granting the doctorate; the faculty grew from three to 23. Jeanette Neckers died on June 10, 1992, and James Neckers died on May 8, 2004.

VanderWerf Hall is located on 10th Street between Central and College avenues.