Shoolary Award Recipients

Krish Krishnamurthy

SMASH 2018 James N. Shoolery Award Recipient

Krish Krishnamurthy was born and raised in Chennai, South India. He received his B.Sc. in chemistry (1974) and M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry (1976) from the University of Madras, India, before moving to Kent State University, Ohio for his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry. His passion for NMR spectroscopy was kindled during his tenure as the NMR research assistant at Kent and he decided to pursue his research career in that field. After his Ph.D., he did post-doctoral research with Prof. George A. Olah at University of Southern California focussing on NMR applications in the study and dynamics of carbocation intermediates. He followed that with a position as NMR specialist at University of California, Berkeley. During the next 25 years, his research career shifted back-and-forth between Varian Instruments and the pharmaceutical industry.

Fittingly, Krish was mentored by James Shoolery himself in the Varian NMR applications lab and this reinforced Krish’s strong belief that state-of-the-art NMR methods should be made available for everyone. In this vein, he developed and administered the “Chempack” software package for Varian NMR users. In the spirit of Shoolery’s vision, the package was built for “ease-of-use without compromise of quality” – revolutionizing the ease with which even very complex NMR experiments can be run by the chemist. He has continued to maintain this very popular package for the last 20+ years as a community service.

Krish also contributed to the early development of many pulse sequence elements that are incorporated into everyday experiments we would all recognise – most notably CRISIS pulses (Compensation of Refocusing Inefficiency with Synchronized Inversion Sweep), BASHD (F1 BAndSelective Homonuclear Decoupling), IMPRESS (a hybrid Hadamard-FT method for improved resolution in 2D), and STEP (Selective Tocsy-Editted Preparation). He also developed key long-range correlation experiments such as EXSIDE (J-scaling method for effective long-range coupling constant measurement) and, in collaboration with Gary Martin, a variety of accordion based HMBC type sequences. Working across more than just spectroscopy, Krish has also led a microimaging team and developed an in-vivo osteoarthritis biomarker method based on the use of residual chemical shift anisotropy of H2O in cartilage and time domain data processing. Krish’s research now focuses on an unconventional data processing paradigm with the development of CRAFT, a Bayesian based approach to decimating time domain data (FID) into the tabular domain (Frequency-Amplitude-decay rate-phase) and its use in a variety of qNMR applications area.

James Keeler

SMASH 2017 James N. Shoolery Award Recipient

James Keeler was born and raised in rural Norfolk, the second son of a farming family. He attended the local grammar school where an inspiring teacher first sparked an interest in chemistry and encouraged James to pursue this at University. He was an undergraduate in Oxford (at John’s College) and then won a scholarship from Merton College to continue with a doctorate under the supervision of Ray Freeman. On completing his doctorate in 1984, James was appointed to a ‘new blood’ lectureship in the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge and a Fellowship at Selwyn College. He has continued in these roles since that date.

James’ research interests have covered a wide range of topics in the broad area of ‘new techniques’ in high-resolution NMR. Particular themes have included improving lineshapes, the measurement of coupling constants, the suppression of zero-quantum coherence, the application of pulsed field gradients (especially to NOE experiments), and pure shift techniques. In recent years he has shifted his focus more to teaching and is the author of three undergraduate texts as well as the introductory NMR text Understanding NMR Spectroscopy.

James has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Meldola Medal, the University of Cambridge Pilkington Teaching Prize, and the Royal Society of Chemistry Silver Medal for contributions in Magnetic Resonance.

Gary Martin

SMASH 2016 James N. Shoolery Award Recipient

Martin holds a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. degree in Medicinal Chemistry/Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Kentucky. He was a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Houston from 1975–1989 and the director of the University of Houston NMR Facility between 1984-1989. He moved to the pharmaceutical industry in 1989 and worked at a number of pharmaceutical companies. He has published more than 275 papers, invited reviews, and chapters and is a frequently invited lecturer at national and international NMR meetings.Between 1989 and 1995 he worked at Burroughs Wellcome (later GlaxoSmithKline) and worked on the development of new one- and two-dimensional NMR experiments for the solution of complex structural and spectral assignment problems. He developed new methods for the acquisition of submicromole and sub-nanomole NMR data for molecular structure characterization, especially work involving inverse-detected heteronuclear shift correlation techniques. These efforts led to collaborative development with Nalorac Cryogenics Corp. to develop micro inverse detection probes which facilitated the acquisition of HMQC spectra on samples to the level of 0.05 µmole for small (200-500 Da) molecule NMR.

He moved to the Pharmacia corporation between 1996–2003 and ran the Rapid Structure Characterization Group. When Pharmacia was acquired by Pfizer, he served as the senior scientific consultant working on new methods development. He led the development of applications of unsymmetrical indirect covariance NMR, initially in an effort to eliminate artifacts and subsequently in the investigation of the mathematical combination of discretely-acquired 2D NMR data. The time savings for the latter was nearly a factor of 16 in time, with a 10-fold improvement in signal-to-noise ratios vs. directly acquiring an HSQC-TOCSY data set with the same sample. He conducted preliminary investigations into the utilization of indirect covariance NMR spectroscopy as an alternative means of evaluating NMR data for structure characterization and Computer-Assisted Structure Elucidation. He collaborated with a team of scientists at Advanced Chemistry Development, ACD/Labs, led by Antony John Williams, investigating the development of computational methods for automated structure verification and structure elucidation. He developed “accordion-optimized” long-range heteronuclear shift correlation methods to provide experimental access to small long-range heteronuclear couplings for the characterization of proton-“deficient” molecular structures, to experimentally access 4J heteronuclear couplings, to differentiate two-bond from three-bond long-range couplings to protonated carbons, to measure long-range heteronuclear couplings and to provide a reliable means of observing long-range proton-nitrogen correlations without concern for the variability of long-range proton nitrogen coupling constants.

He also collaborated on the development of a new generation of sub-micro inverse detection probes with Nalorac Cryogenics Corporation designed to allow heteronuclear shift correlation experiments to be performed at levels down to 0.01 µmole for small molecules. The collaboration extended to a new generation of cold metal (at temperatures of 8K) 3 mm micro inverse detection probes. In 2006 he joined Schering-Plough and was responsible for the chemical structure characterization of impurities and degradants of candidate drug molecules in support of chemical process research. Schering Plough was acquired by Merck Research Laboratories in 2009. During his time at Merck he has continued to explore the limits of detection for low level samples by heteronuclear 2D NMR using newly developed 1.7 mm Micro CryoProbe™ technology. He has developed, in collaboration with ACD/Labs, and Bruker, unsymmetrical indirect covariance NMR spectroscopy, exploring the calculation of hyphenated heteronuclear 2D correlation spectra. He has also continued collaborative investigations in the area of Computer-Assisted Structure Elucidation (CASE) with ACD/Labs. He has also explored the use of unsymmetrical indirect covariance NMR processing methods to define 13C-15N and 13C-13C heteronuclear connectivity networks. He was awarded the 2016 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in NMR. 

Gareth Morris

SMASH 2015 James N. Shoolery Award Recipient

Gareth Morris was successively an undergraduate in Chemistry, postgraduate student, and research fellow at Magdalen College Oxford from 1972 to 1981, first as a Demy and subsequently as a graduate student (supervised by Ray Freeman) and as a Fellow by Examination. He worked on a remarkable number of, now crucial, underpinning pulse sequence elements during this time, including DANTE and INEPT (with the first INEPT experiments being performed in the few weeks between the submission of his thesis and leaving for a year’s postdoc with Laurie Hall at the University of British Columbia as an Izaak Walton Killam postdoctoral fellow). In 1979 he returned to Oxford, working with Ray and colleagues on a variety of 1D and 2D methods and applications.

In 1982 he moved to Manchester, where he was successively Lecturer, Reader and Professor of Physical Chemistry. In these 30+ years he has made seminal contributions in gradient shimming, diffusion-ordered NMR spectroscopy including the use of multicomponent diffusion matrices to enhance diffusional separation; the analysis and correction, both by methodological and hardware improvements and by post-processing software, of limitations to performance in high resolution NMR equipment; and the improvement of spectral resolution by new one- and two-dimensional pure shift NMR techniques, and their extension to structural biology.

He was awarded the RSC Corday-Morgan prize and medal in 1988, a Leverhulme Fellowship in 1996, and the RSC Industrially-Sponsored Award in Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in 2001, and was an invited professor at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, in 2010. In 2011 he was awarded the Russell Varian Prize for NMR, and in 2014 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

William F. Reynolds

SMASH 2014 James N. Shoolery Award Recipient

Bill Reynolds was born and raised in a mining town in Northern Manitoba where his father was one of North America’s leading experts in the chemistry of gold recovery. This inspired Bill to pursue a BSc degree in Honors Chemistry at the University of Manitoba. He then obtained a PhD, specializing in NMR spectroscopy, with the late Professor Ted Schaefer in 1963. After spending two years at University College London as the Sir William Ramsey Fellow for Canada, he joined the Faculty of the Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, where he has remained since, currently as Emeritus Professor.

Much of his early research at Toronto centered on using measurements of substituent-induced chemical shifts and long-range coupling constants to investigate transmission of electronic effects in aromatic derivatives, along with investigations of polymer structure by NMR. However, for the last 30+ years, he has focused on the use of 2D NMR to determine structures of natural products and the development of improved NMR methods for this purpose. A key early effort in this field was his pioneering work on the use of long-range 1H-13C shift correlation spectra which allowed total structure elucidation of unknown compounds by 2D NMR alone.

Another important contribution was his promotion of forward linear prediction as a time-saving method. His 210 publications in these areas involved about 150 scientists and students from Mexico and the Caribbean basin, including over 40 students from these areas who have visited his lab for periods of up to 4 months to carry out structure elucidations.  He has also taught a number of short NMR courses in the latter locations and has also authored a number of reviews focusing on optimal use of NMR methods.

From 1993-2005, he served as an Editor for Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry. In 1998, he received the Gerhard Herzberg Award from the Spectroscopy Society of Canada and, in the same year, he was inducted as the first Canadian member of the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias, in recognition for his contributions to Mexican Science. He also received special awards in 1999 and 2010 for contributions to chemistry in the West Indies.