Scientific American Names UB Professor One of the World's Top Contributors to Science and Technology

Release Date: November 10, 2003 This content is archived.


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Chemistry professor Thomas Szyperski has been named to the "Scientific American 50" top contributers to science and technology.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Thomas Szyperski, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Chemistry in the University at Buffalo's College of Arts and Sciences, has been named one of the Scientific American 50, the magazine's annual list recognizing "outstanding acts of leadership in technology from the past year."

Selected by the magazine's board of editors and outside experts, the Scientific American 50 spotlights leaders in the areas of research, business and policy in specific categories.

Szyperski, who has joint appointments in the departments of biochemistry and structural biology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, was selected as the list's "Research Leader in Chemicals and Materials Science" for his development of a much faster, more precise and far less expensive method of obtaining nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data to map a protein's atomic structure.

The list appears in the magazine's December issue, on newsstands Nov. 25.

"The University at Buffalo is extremely proud and honored to have one of its faculty included in the Scientific American 50," said Jaylan S. Turkkan, Ph.D., UB vice president for research. "Dr. Szyperski's research, which Scientific American is recognizing and which was funded by a federal-government effort to capitalize on discoveries from the human genome project, puts UB and Buffalo in the spotlight as a powerhouse in the field of structural biology."

NMR machines use very powerful magnetic fields to determine macromolecular structures of proteins.

Szyperski's method has the potential to increase greatly the use of high-throughput NMR to determine protein structures with the ultimate goal of developing new medicines and treatments.

His method, combined with powerful new NMR machines now coming online, is expected to usher in a new era for NMR determination of proteins.

Szyperski's work was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Protein Structure Initiative of the National Institutes of Health.

According to John Rennie, Scientific American editor-in-chief, "Scientific American is in the business of encouraging the progressive use of technology to make a better future for people around the world. Every year, we watch how certain individuals and organizations play pivotal roles in directing that future's emergence. The Scientific American 50 is our chance to shine a light on these incredibly deserving leaders in research, industry and policy."

The "Scientific American 50" may be accessed on the magazine's Web site at

Szyperski is a resident of Amherst.

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