2019 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in Separation Science

Joseph J. Pesek, professor of analytical chemistry at San Jose State University, received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1966 and Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1970.  He spent an additional year as a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA.  His first academic appointment was at Northern Illinois University in 1971 and then he moved to San Jose State University in 1978.  He served two terms (eight years) as the chair of the Chemistry Department and was Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research from 2000-2003.  He has been a visiting research professor at Ecole Polytechnique, in Paris, Universite d’Aix-Marseilles, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and the University of Queensland Department of Pharmacy in Brisbane Australia.  He was named a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Scholar in 1991 and again in 2001 and was the President’s Scholar at San Jose State in 1993.

Dr. Pesek has received 60 research and educational grants totaling over $6.7 M since he began his academic career.  Funding from public agencies has been provided by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, California State University Program for Research and Education in Biotechnology, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.  Private sources of support include the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, W.M. Keck Foundation, Agilent Foundation and the Petroleum Research Fund of the ACS.  Additional funding has been obtained from private corporations including Microsolv Technology Corp., Bio-Rad, Varian, Perkin-Elmer, IBM, Eli Lilly, Hewlett-Packard and Alza Corp.

His research interests include the synthesis and characterization of separation materials for chromatography and the development of methods and protocols for applications in biological, medicinal, clinical, forensic, pharmaceutical and food analysis. These activities have resulted in 240 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and 3 patents related to the separation materials (HPLC stationary phases) developed.  The unique feature of the HPLC column technology covered by the patents is a modifiable silica hydride surface that can be used to create chromatographic phases capable of retaining both hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds.  These materials (referred to as Type C silica) are commercially available through Microsolv Technology Corp of Leland, NC.