Robert Tycko to Receive Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award at Pittcon 2023

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Robert Tycko received the 2023 Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award for his contributions in the field of spectroscopy. He was recognized at Pittcon 2023, which took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Pittcon annually recognizes those who are most accomplished in various areas of specialization within the field of analytical chemistry. One such award is the Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award; established in 1957, this award is given to people who demonstrate outstanding achievements in the field of spectroscopy. At Pittcon 2023, the award went to Robert Tycko of the National Institutes of Health.

For over 30 years, Tycko has evolved the field of magnetic resonance spectroscopy, advancing the fundamentals of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and its use in physical and biological sciences. Most recently, his laboratory has been working on how to perform high-resolution MRI at extreme temperature lows, developing novel time-resolved NMR methods, and applying NMR techniques to the analysis of structural studies of protein assemblies related to neurogenerative disease.

The selection committee noted that Tycko’s work “combines new conceptual insights and experimental approaches with detailed investigations of specific systems that are of central importance to large communities of scientists outside of magnetic resonance.”

Hosted by Pittcon’s John Baltrus of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, the symposium for this award featured several speakers, including Tatyana Polenova of the University of Delaware, Stephan Grzesiek of the University of Basel, Songi Han of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Tycko. Tycko’s talk, titled “Time-Resolved Biomolecular NMR and Micron-Resolution MRI at Very Low Temperatures,” focused on his laboratory’s most recent research endeavors at the time, which heavily relied on “large enhancements of NMR signals that occur at temperatures below 30 K through dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP).”

The award symposium took place on Monday, March 20, with Pittcon itself being held from March 18–22.