Renowned Chemist Richard Zare to Speak at LSU

11/24/2014 03:34 PM

BATON ROUGE – Renowned chemist Richard N. Zare will give two seminars at LSU in December. He is widely recognized for his research in the area of laser chemistry, resulting in a greater understanding of chemical reactions at the molecular level. He is the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University.

Zare will give both a public talk and a research lecture, which are presented in honor of LSU System Boyd Professor Philip W. West, the first chemistry professor to be awarded LSU’s highest professorial rank, Boyd Professor.

The two seminars include:

• Monday, Dec. 15 – “Chemistry in the Service of Human Health” Public Talk
Chemistry plays a key role in keeping us healthy. Some aspects of this are obvious, such as making drugs to fight disease or purifying water for drinking, but other aspects are much more subtle. This talk will describe two current research projects in Zare’s laboratory related to human health — the making of better blood collection tubes and the use of cell-imprinted polymer films to capture and identify bacteria.


Location: LSU’s Dalton J. Woods Auditorium located at 1001 Energy, Coast & Environment Building


Reception: 6:30-7 p.m.
Public Talk: 7 p.m.


• Tuesday, Dec. 16 – “Mass Spectrometry: Drop by Drop” Research Lecture
Alchemy gave way to chemistry as soon as scientists, starting with Lavoisier, were able to make accurate weight measurements. This ability immediately led to the concepts of stoichiometry and to valence, the combining power of the elements. Imagine how chemistry might have been transformed if the most accurate method of making weight measurements, that of mass spectrometry, had been available so much earlier. This talk will discuss briefly the principles of mass spectrometry and illustrate its use in Zare’s laboratory to help identify fleeting intermediates in liquid-phase chemical reactions and to help guide surgeons in removing tumors.  


Location: LSU’s Life Sciences Room A101


Research Lecture: 3:30 p.m.
Reception to follow


About Richard N. Zare

Zare was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a graduate of Harvard University, where he received his B.A. degree in chemistry and physics in 1961 and his Ph.D. in chemical physics in 1964. In 1965, he became an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He moved to the University of Colorado in 1966, remaining there until 1969 while holding joint appointments in the departments of chemistry, and physics and astrophysics. In 1969, he was appointed to a full professorship in the chemistry department at Columbia University, becoming the Higgins Professor of Natural Science in 1975. In 1977, he moved to Stanford University. He was named Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University in 2005.

He has made seminal contributions to the knowledge of molecular collision processes and contributed significantly to solving a variety of problems in chemical analysis through experimental and theoretical studies. His development of laser induced fluorescence as a method for studying reaction dynamics has been widely adopted in other laboratories.


Some of his awards and recognitions include:

2012      Torbern Bergman Medal from the Analytical Section of the Swedish Chemical Society
2011      King Faisal International Prize in Science from the King Faisal Foundation in Saudi Arabia
2010      American Chemical Society’s Priestley Medal
2001      Royal Society of Chemistry Faraday Medal
1999      Welch Award in Chemistry from one of oldest and largest private funding sources for basic chemical research in the U.S., the                     Welch Foundation
1999      Foreign Member of the Royal Society (London)
1983      National Medal of Science
1985      Irving Langmuir Prize from the American Physical Society
1976      Member of the National Academy of Sciences
1976      Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


The two seminars are sponsored by the LSU Chemistry Holiday West Lecture Series.



Alison  Satake 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Monday, November 24, 2014