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Nobel laureates among Pittcon speakers in 2004


Pittsburgh, PA October 20, 2003 The Pittsburgh Conference announced today that Koichi Tanaka and Professor Kurt Wnthrich, 2002 Nobel laureates, will present separate plenary lectures describing their work at the 2004 Pittsburgh Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. Both lectures are to take place Monday, March 8, 2004.

Dr Tanaka, of Shimadzu, shared half of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the use of soft laser desorption techniques coupled with mass spectrometry (a way of measuring charge-to-mass ratio for charged ions–a standard method for determining molecular mass of various atoms and molecules) for analysis of biological macromolecules. This culminated in the development of instrumentation that led to significant advances in drug development and proteomics.

Dr Wnthrich, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, was awarded half of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the method of sequential assignment a systematic way of analyzing NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance identifies nuclei [usually hydrogen] and their environments using a magnetic field and radio waves.) signals so that pairwise distances between numerous protons can be calculated. This technique makes it possible to use NMR to determine the 3-dimensional structure of proteins and other large molecules.

Drs Tanaka and Wnthrich shared the 2002 Nobel Prize with Dr John B Fenn (Virginia Commonwealth University), who highlighted his Nobel Prize-winning invention of electrospray ionization at Pittcon 2003 in Orlando.