Mass Spec Pioneer
Elected to National
Academy of Sciences
R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and
co-director of Purdue’s Center for Analytical Instrumentation Development, has
been inducted into the National Academy
of Sciences, one of the highest honors
given to a scientist in the United States.
Cooks is a pioneer in the field of mass
spectrometry, which identifies the
contents of a sample by measuring the
mass of its ions, or electrically charged
Cooks is among 84 new members and 21
foreign associates elected to the academy this year. Members are elected in
recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
He joins four Purdue colleagues as
current members or foreign associates
of the academy: H. Jay Melosh, distinguished professor of earth, atmospheric
and planetary sciences and physics;
Ei-ichi Negishi, Nobel laureate and the
Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Michael Rossmann,
the Hanley Distinguished Professor of
Biological Sciences; and Jian-Kang Zhu,
distinguished professor of plant biology.
Cooks is the fourth faculty member from
Purdue’s Department of Chemistry to be
elected to the academy. Joseph S. Francisco, professor emeritus, was elected in
2013; and the late Nobel laureate Herbert
C. Brown was elected in 1957. Negishi
was elected in 2014.
R. Graham Cooks
Three Honored with Morrill Awards for
Teaching, Research, Engagement
Three professors whose careers have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research
and engagement have been honored with Morrill Awards for 2015.
This is the fourth year of the Morrill Award, initiated to honor the Morrill Act of
1862, which allowed for the establishment of land-grant colleges and universities.
The award comes with a $30,000 prize, which may be used as discretionary funds
or salary supplements.
The 2015 Morrill Award winners are:
Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor of Plant Breeding & Genetics and International Agriculture: Ejeta has
made extraordinary contributions to improving the food
supply for millions of poor people, especially in his native
Ethiopia and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The 2009
World Food Prize winner, he has worked extensively
to bring his improved sorghum seeds — and necessary
training — to villagers. Ejeta also has served on numerous advisory boards, including appointments by the U.N.
secretary-general and the U.S. president. At Purdue, he is
founder and director of the Center for Global Food Security, and he has mentored
and advised more than 100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Michael R. Ladisch, Distinguished Professor of
Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE):
A pioneer in the biofuels industry, Ladisch
has made key advances to enable efficient and
environmentally friendly production of ethanol
from corn. In food safety, he and his team have
reduced the time required to detect food patho-
gens from several days to four hours. Ladisch
served as chief technology officer of Mascoma,
a biofuels startup, from 2007 to 2013, and he
has mentored more than 275 students, includ-
ing 77 undergraduate researchers. He also directs the Laboratory of Renewable
Resources Engineering, housed in ABE, and has a joint appointment in the Weldon
School of Biomedical Engineering. He is a member of the National Academy of
Wallace Tyner, the James and Lois Ackerman Professor in Agricultural Economics: A leading analyst of U.S.
energy economics policy for several decades, Tyner
communicates his findings broadly to industry and
government leaders and the general public. Within the
energy area, his research topics have included biofuel
economics and policy, linkages between energy and agriculture, land use change induced by biofuel expansion,
potential and economics of cellulosic biofuels, biofuels
environmental issues, economic benefits of shale oil and
gas, and climate policy. He has over 325 total publications. He chaired a National Academy of Sciences report
on the Renewable Fuel Standard. At Purdue, he has mentored more than 60 graduate students, and he served as chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics
for 13 years.