12/09/2014 03:35 PM
BATON ROUGE – LSU Department of Chemistry Chair and William White Tison Professor Luigi Marzilli was awarded the 2014 Southern Chemist Award during the annual meeting of the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society on Dec. 4. The award, presented each year since 1952, recognizes one outstanding chemist in the Southeastern United States. Previous LSU recipients are Boyd Professor Emeritus William Pryor in 1984 and Isiah Warner, Boyd Professor and Philip W. West Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry, in 2006.
Marzilli is also a recipient of the Charles Holmes Herty Medal, the oldest award recognizing chemists in the southern region since 1933. He joins 16 other chemists to receive both the Herty and Southern Chemist Awards and is the second chemist in 64 years to receive both awards the same year.
Recognized for his contributions in elucidating the roles of materials in biology and medicine and his advancement of young scientists, Marzilli has focused his 44 years of research on bioinorganic chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University, Emory University and for the past 12 years at LSU. His research laboratory employs traditional synthetic and characterization methods involving cobalt (B12 vitamins and coenzymes), anti-cancer and antiviral compounds of platinum and porphyrins and heart and kidney diagnostic agents containing technetium and rhenium. He has also pioneered the use of a number of high-field and multinuclear NMR strategies to gain deeper insight into the properties and biological and medical roles of the compounds studied in his laboratory.
Marzilli’s service includes a stint as a National Science Foundation program officer and membership on government funding agency panels including a National Institutes of Health panel responsible for awarding postdoctoral fellowships to chemists.
In his second term as Chair of the College of Science’s Department of Chemistry, Marzilli helped to expand space for research and teaching and gain a firm commitment for the construction of the LSU Chemistry and Materials Building, which was completed in October 2012. Marzilli is also an advocate for women and minorities in science. More than 50 percent of his chemistry Ph.D. advisees are women. Just this year, the department was recognized nationally as the top granter of Ph.D.s in chemistry to women and minorities due in part to Marzilli’s efforts and those of Professor and Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives Isiah Warner.
Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2014