R. Graham Cooks

Purdue University’s R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, has received the coveted Dreyfus Prize, this year awarded in the field of chemical instrumentation.

Cooks is only the third winner of the biennial prize, which consists of a citation, a medal and a monetary award of $250,000. The longtime Purdue chemistry professor said the honor ranks as a major career highlight.

“I am particularly pleased by the fact that the foundation chose chemical instrumentation as the topic of the prize because it is an emphatic recognition of the importance of instrumentation in the chemical enterprise,” Cooks says. “This has been one focus of the chemistry research effort at Purdue for some 50 years, so the 2013 prize is recognition of the subject and the institution, more than an individual.”

The Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences is awarded to an individual who has advanced the field in a major way.

Cooks was nominated for his impact in mass spectrometry and instrumentation development, which he has conducted in the Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry since 1976. The American Chemical Society dedicated Wetherill as a national historic chemistry landmark in April. Cooks also recently received a notable ACS honor, the F.A. Cotton Medal for Excellence in Chemical Research at the College of Science Faculty Awards Convocation.