Chairs: Dr. Dai, Dr. Hirschmann
Dean Samuel H. Preston has announced
two chair appointments in the Department
of Chemistry. Dr. Hai-Lung Dai has
been appointed to the Hirschmann-Makineni
Professorship in Chemistry. Dr. Ralph
Hirschmann has been named the Rao
Makineni Term Professor in Chemistry.
Dai received a B.S. from National
Taiwan University in 1974 and a doctorate
from the University of California,
Berkeley, in 1981. He joined the chemistry
faculty in 1984 after serving as a
postdoctoral fellow at MIT and was
promoted to full professor in 1992.
coming to Penn, he has received the
following honors: the Henry and Camille
Dreyfus New Faculty Award, an Alfred
P. Sloan fellowship, the Henry and
Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award,
the Coblentz Award in Spectroscopy,
the Alexander von Humboldt fellowship
for senior U.S. scientists, the American
Chemical Society's Philadelphia
Section Award, a John Simon Guggenheim
Fellowship, a Morino Lectureship in
Japan, and a Molecular Dynamics Lectureship
at the Chinese Academy of Science.
He is a fellow of the American Physical
Society and serves on the editorial
boards of several journals in the
fields of physical chemistry and chemical
physical chemist, he develops new
laser-based and time-resolved spectroscopic
techniques for studying molecular
properties and intermolecular interactions
in gases, on surfaces, and in novel
materials. His recent studies include
effects of high energy excitations
on molecules and how reactions can
be controlled or improved in efficiency
by external means of excitation. He
has written more than 120 research
articles and book chapters in molecular
and surface sciences. In addition
to his scholarly activities, he served
as the chair of the chemistry department
from 1996 to 2002 and currently is
a member of the Pennsylvania State
Board on Drugs, Devices, and Cosmetics.
in Chemistry was established by Rao
Makineni in 1993 in honor of National
Medal of Science recipient Dr. Ralph
Hirschmann, who was the first holder
of this endowed professorship and
who has now been named the Rao Makineni
Term Professor in Chemistry.
coming to Penn in 1987, Dr. Hirschmann
was senior vice president for basic
research at Merck & Co., Inc.,
where he had worked since 1950. He
also had a concurrent appointment
as professor of biomedical research
at the Medical University of South
Carolina in Charleston. He received
an A.B. from Oberlin College in 1943,
served in the US Army during World
War II, then received a Ph.D. from
the University of Wisconsin, Madison,
in 1950. He has written more than
160 papers and holds 100 patents.
His early work at Merck led to the
discovery of stereoselective control
of chemical transformations, an important
concept in organic chemistry.
Penn, he initiated collaborative research
in the field of peptidomimetics, which
has clarified relationships between
chemical structure and biological
function via collaborations with biologists
in the pharmaceutical industry.
addition to the National Medal of
Science, his honors include the National
Academy of Sciences' Award for
the Industrial Application of Science,
the American Chemical Society's
Arthur C. Cope Medal and Edward E.
Smissman Bristol-Myers Squibb Award,
the Nichols Medal of its New York
Section, and the Willard Gibbs Medal
of the Chicago Section, as well as
the ACS Alfred Burger and E.B. Hershberg
Awards. He was elected a member of
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,
the National Academy of Sciences and
he is a Senior Fellow of the Institute
of Medicine. The Medical University
of South Carolina established the
Ralph F. Hirschmann Professorship
of Biochemistry in his honor in 1997,
and both Oberlin and Wisconsin have
endowed lectureships in his honor.
Makineni was born in Andhra, India.
He received his undergraduate training
at the Christian College in 1952.
Four years later he was awarded the
degree of Associate of the Royal College
of Science and Technology at the University
of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.
In 1959 he moved to Los Angeles, where
he worked first for Shankman Laboratories
and later for the Pasadena Foundation
for Medical Research. In 1963, he
joined the Cyclo Chemical Company,
his first major commitment to peptide
chemistry. His entrepreneurial talent
became apparent in 1967 when he became
cofounder of the Fox Chemical Company.
In 1971, Mr. Makineni and Peter Grogg
started Bachem with laboratories in
Switzerland and California. The two
organizations subsequently separated,
both becoming highly successful enterprises.
He retired in 1996 to continue his
philanthropic activities and to travel
with his wife, Padma.
has been a generous friend of the
chemistry department, having provided
funds for renovating space for the
Makineni Laboratory for Theoretical
Chemistry and the Makineni Conference
Room in the Department of Chemistry.
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 33, May 13, 2003