WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (The Exponent) – Purdue has added another Nobel Laureate to its ranks after professor R. Graham Cooks was awarded the 2014 Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry.
Cooks was presented the award with alumna Livia Eberlin, now a graduate student at Stanford, whom he mentored.
The award is presented by the American Chemical Society to a graduate student and mentor every year, accompanied by a prize of $3,000 and a plaque with the signatures of other Nobel Laureates.
Eberlin and Cooks developed a process to identify cancerous tissue in brain, prostate, testicular and kidney cancer cases. Cooks said the new process will be a life-saving technique in addition to being a breakthrough in this field of science.
“I think this will become a routine method used actually by a surgeon during surgery to rapidly evaluate the disease status of tissue that he or she is about to resect,” Cooks said. “And in order for that to become the case, one needs to have convenient, small mass spectrometers in the surgery rooms.”
Cooks said he is also currently working with Zheng Ouyang, a professor in biomedical engineering at Purdue, on a new, more compact mass spectrometers that can be used in the surgery room. Cooks and Ouyang expressed their optimism for the impact this technology will have in practice.