Congratulations Larry!


It is with great pleasure that I compose this editorial in celebration of our Editor in Chief's 2013 Pittsburg Spectroscopy Award. If this Editorial goes to plan, this will be the only article in recent years not to have been vetted by our illustrious Editor in Chief, so Larry, I apologize for circumventing your solid Editorial system but…SURPRISE!

The 2013 Pittsburg Spectroscopy Award is presented by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh and presented in honor of an individual who has made outstanding contributions in the field of spectroscopy. Since before I was born, a younger then ‘Dr.’ Nafie was shaking things up in the world of vibrational spectroscopy; his 1972 paper Reorientation and vibrational relaxation as line broadening factors in vibrational spectroscopy has received a remarkable 228 citations to date. Just one of the many classic articles from Larry's early career. Since these extraordinary beginnings, Larry has amassed a bibliography of 274 articles from 1969 to 2012 (as indexed by the Web of Science) having attracted an impressive 341 citations in 2011 alone. Plus, of course, there is his infamous book, Vibrational Optical Activity – Principles and Applications.

Larry is perhaps the world's most foremost expert on vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) and Raman optical activity (ROA). He has pioneered the use of these spectroscopic techniques for addressing questions of structure and function for a wide range of biological or model biological molecular systems. Most recently, demonstrating their use, combined with state of the art computations, for investigations of protein structure function relationships.

In part, Larry's recognized success and impact derives from his in-depth theoretical knowledge and understanding of matter–radiation interactions coupled with his experimental prowess in the clever design and implementation of instrumentation. In addition, he has identified important problems in biophysics where these novel spectroscopic methodologies can be applied. It is accurate to say that Larry has built both the theoretical as well as instrumental machinery that the current fields of VCD and ROA are built on. Larry's scientific impact has been further enhanced by his efforts to make state-of-the-art instrumentation required for these circularly polarized measurements commercially accessible for laboratories throughout the world via Biotools, Inc., the company he founded offering VCD and ROA instrumental platforms.

This recognition by the Pittsburgh Conference is not the first award that recognizes his creative and significant scientific achievements. Larry's previous awards in recognition of his innovative contributions to the modern techniques and current applications of molecular spectroscopy including an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Coblentz Award, the Bomem Michelson Award, the Meggars Award, and he is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy.

Thank you Larry and congratulations!