UND Hosts Noted Chemist Dr. Michael Ward For 2012 Abbott Chemistry Lecture

Renowned chemist and world-class lecturer Dr. Michael Ward, chair of the Department of Chemistry at New York University and director of NYU’s Molecular Design Institute, is the featured speaker for the 2012 Abbott Chemistry Lecture at UND April 26-27.

His presentation titled “The Rapidly Changing Face of Scientific Publication” on Thursday, April 26, at 7 p.m. in Abbott Hall, Room 101, is intended for the general public. On Friday, April 27, at 12 p.m. in Abbott Hall, Room 138, he will deliver a scientific presentation titled “Pathological Crystallization: Kidney Stones and Pathways to Therapies by Molecular Design.”

Ward’s research focuses on the formation of kidney stones, hard crystalline masses that develop in the kidney. In some people, the stones grow large enough to clump together, causing severe pain when they become stuck in the kidneys, bladder or urinary tract. He and his researchers at NYU have identified molecules that could prevent the stones from growing larger, effectively blocking their formation.

Ward is a professor of chemistry NYU where he is also director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. He is an associate editor of the American Chemical Society journal Chemistry and Materials. Other research areas in which Ward is involved include materials and solid-state chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and self-assembly, interfacial chemistry, atomic force microscopy and electrochemistry.

Throughout his career, Ward has been involved in seven patents and has authored or co-authored dozens of articles published in such prestigious journals as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Crystal Engineering Communications, Analytical Chemistry and Urological Research.

Ward received his bachelor’s in chemistry in 1977 from William Paterson College of New Jersey and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University in 1981. He was a Robert A. Welch Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas in Austin.

Ward was at the University of Minnesota from 1990 to 2005, beginning as an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and becoming a professor in 1993. He was director of the university’s NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center from 1999 to 2005. He joined the faculty at NYU in 2006.

The Abbott Lectureship was launched in 1963 to bring outstanding chemists to UND, providing an opportunity for personal interaction with students, practicing chemists and faculty. UND has hosted some of the most outstanding chemists in the country to present the endowed lectures, including Nobel Prize winners. The Abbott Lectureship was established with gifts from the University of North Dakota alumni.

About George A. Abbott
Dr. George Alonzo Abbott, Professor Emeritus at the University of North Dakota, had a long and fruitful career of service to the State of North Dakota and the science of Chemistry. He was born July 7, 1874, in Alma, Illinois. Dr. Abbott received both the B.S. and M.A. pro merito from DePauw University. From 1896 until 1904 he taught chemistry in high schools in Evansville, Indiana; Duluth, Minnesota; and Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1903, through a contact with Professor Talbot, he received the Austen Research Fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Under the guidance of A. A. Noyes, Professor of Physical Chemistry at M.I.T., he received the Ph.D. in 1908. In this first class of doctorates in chemistry were such notables as Edward Washburn, Charles Kraus and Richard Tolman. Dr. Abbott joined the chemistry staff of the North Dakota Agricultural College (North Dakota State University) in 1909.

In 1910 he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Dakota. His devotion to teaching and the application of chemistry for the betterment of North Dakota was one of his outstanding contributions. His interests in quality water and in natural products such as lignite, for which North Dakota is recognized, gave him national recognition. For half a century he was the only toxicologist in a wide area of the upper Midwest. He found time to do a weekly radio program “Science from the Sidelines” which was broadcast for over twenty years.

Professor Abbott was a founder and charter member of the North Dakota Academy of Science. He was a member of the Red River Valley Section of the American Chemical Society, a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists, member of Sigma Xi, and a charter member of the University of North Dakota Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Dr. Abbott retired from administration in 1948 and from teaching in 1952. He continued toxicological work until 1970.

Useful links:
Dr. Ward’s website at NYU

National Institutes of Health (NIH) article on Dr. Ward’s research

George A. Abbot Lectureship

UND Department of Chemistry

Jerome Delhommelle, assistant professor
UND Department of Chemistry
U.S. Editor for Molecular Simulation