2014 New York Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy Gold Medal Award

Laurence A. Nafie Syracuse University

Laurence A. Nafie
Syracuse University

Laurence (Larry) A. Nafie received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1973, studying resonance Raman scattering, and from 1973 to 1975 he was a postdoctoral associate at the University of Southern California, working on the discovery and confirmation of infrared vibrational circular dichroism (VCD).  In 1975 he joined the Chemistry faculty at Syracuse University to establish a research program in VCD and Raman optical activity (ROA).  In 1978, he was named an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and was promoted to Professor in 1982.  In 1978 he proposed and carried out the first measurements of Fourier transform VCD, now the basis of all commercial VCD instrumentation.  He was appointed Chairman of the Chemistry Department in 1984 and served until 2000.  In 1988 he measured the scattered circular polarization (SCP) form of ROA for the first time that is now used in the only commercially available ROA spectrometer.  In 1989 he predicted theoretically a new form of ROA called dual circular polarization (DCP) ROA that was confirmed experimentally in his laboratory in 1991.  In 1995 he became founding Editor of the journal Biospectroscopy, published by John Wiley & Sons and continued as Associate Editor of Biopolymers until 2010.  In 1996, he co-founded with Dr. Rina Dukor the company BioTools, Inc. to market advanced vibrational spectroscopy instrumentation, including the ChiralIR VCD and ChiralRAMAN ROA spectrometers.  In 1996 he published the theory of resonance ROA and its predictions were confirmed by its first observation in 1998.  In 2000, he was named Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Syracuse University.  He was awarded the Coblentz Award (1981), the Bomem Michelson Award (2001), the William F. Meggers Award (2001) and the Distinguished Service Award of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy (2007).  He served on the Governing Board of the Coblentz Society from 1984 to 1988 and was President from 1993 to 1995.  In 2003, he served as President of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy, and in 2008 he became a Fellow of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy.  In January 2010 he retired from full-time service at Syracuse University to become Distinguished Professor Emeritus and at the same time Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Raman Spectroscopy published by John Wiley & Sons.   In 2011 he published a comprehensive book on the fundamental theory, instrumentation, measurement, calculation and application of vibrational optical entitled Vibrational Optical Activity: Principles and Applications Wiley, Chichester (2011). Most recently, he was named winner of the 2013 Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award of the Spectroscopic Society of Pittsburgh, presented at Pittcon 2013.  He has over 300 publications and several patents.