Tribute to Professor Sir Harold"Harry" Kroto

Professor Sir Kroto's Legacy

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Professor Kroto, 1996 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, has recently passed away. His Nobel Prize was based on his co-discovery of buckminsterfullerene, an unusual carbon molecule consisting of 60 carbon atoms arranged as a spheroid, in a pattern exactly matching the stitching on soccer balls. As the geodesic domes designed by the late inventor/architect Buckminster Fuller, were crucial in arriving at the correct structure at the time of the discovery, Kroto named the molecule "buckminsterfullerene" - now nicknamed "buckyball". Its discovery has opened up an entirely new branch of chemistry. The family of “Fullerene” carbon cage molecules has exceptional structural stability, electronic behavior and other intriguing properties, which are now finding applications in solar cell and medical applications such as non-toxic Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) agents.

Professor Kroto leaves a rich legacy. His passion and commitment to training the next generation of scientists set the stage for students and faculty around the globe. Multidisciplinary research is reshaping science today, and Professor Kroto’s work is a great example of what thinking across the disciplines can accomplish.

I had the honor of getting to know him when I hosted him for the FAU Annual Nobel Symposium in 2010. Students, faculty and staff at FAU were all charmed by Professor Kroto’s passion and his ability to deliver a complex lecture in a manner that could be understood by all. He will be missed, but his legacy will continue to spark excitement in many scientists around the globe.

Picture shows Sir Kroto with students at FAU.

Go to the profile of Ramaswamy Narayanan

Ramaswamy Narayanan

Professor, Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

I am a biochemist/molecular biologist and a cancer researcher. A Ph.D. in biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Dublin, I have worked in federal institutions (NIH & CDC), in academia (Yale University & Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) and in industry (Hoffmann-La Roche AG). For the last 18 years, I have been at the Florida Atlantic University as a Professor in Biology. My research interests are interdisciplinary across the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering and medicine. Over the last three decades, my research has revolved around drug target(s) discovery by mining the human genome using bioinformatics. I am focusing on the areas of druggable targets/chemical leads discovery and repurposed medicine for various therapeutic areas to facilitate accelerated drug discovery and development.

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