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Chemist Jack Freed wins 2008 Wilson Award in Spectroscopy

Jack Freed, the Frank and Robert Laughlin Professor of Physical Chemistry, has built a career of more than 40 years at Cornell around advancing the use of electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR), a technique for studying molecules, complex fluids and such biological materials as proteins.

For that work, he has been honored with the 2008 E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy.

The $5,000 award and certificate, sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS), recognizes outstanding accomplishments in fundamental or applied spectroscopy in chemistry. Freed, who is also director of the National Biomedical Research Center for Advanced ESR Technology (ACERT) at Cornell, will deliver an awards address at the spring symposium of ACS' Division of Physical Chemistry.

His advances have included introducing far-infrared ESR that led to innovative quasi-optical techniques, pioneering new methods for determining protein structures and developing ESR microscopy, which can be used to make images of materials as small as 1 micrometer (one-millionth of a meter).

In recognition of Freed's innovations, he was awarded a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2001 to establish ACERT at Cornell. The center explores the applications of advanced ESR to membrane and protein structures and their dynamics.

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